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Chris Fisch © 2000

 

 
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Somehow I still hoped they would just decide to let me go, or at least take me to the immigration police, where I thought the others probably were. I couldn't believe they were seriously wanting to imprison me for "assaulting an injuring three policemen". It was just so completely crazy.
I explained to them that I was a very peaceful person and I looked the investigator in the eye with a look as though I were his own child and asked how could he be doing this to me?? Sure it was a total mystery to me how anybody could be so cruel. Or did they really just believe what these policemen said, without even considering the possibility of it not being true?

All the time, I was still hoping they would eventually soften up a little, when hearing me plead my innocence so sincerely, and I waited for them to say, "Okay, maybe we should just drop this for now, but we don't want to see you at another demonstration in Prague, or there will really be trouble" But all they said was that "this was for the low court to find out".

"And how long will all this take? When can I finally go home?" I told them that I had to go back to Vienna to enroll at my University, that it was the beginning of the semester and that it was very important for me to arrive during the first weeks of October.

They said that they would detain/confine me for another 48 hours until they decided on my sentence (of course, I knew that these so-called 48 hours could be a lot LOT longer, before anything ever gets decided) and how much time I would have to go to prison for. This time, they made the big mistake of being very clear about the 'how long', instead of 'IF', Which is what caused enough panic inside me to give me the final mental push I needed to go through with what I had in mind to do if all else failed...

I had really maintained my HOPE all along, until just this point, but now I was starting to capitulate to complete and total despair - and the most immense fear that I had ever felt in maybe all my life. Because I knew that I simply CANNOT survive confinement in closed spaces, whether it be mental or physically closed spaces I CANNOT LIVE IN THEM.And I knew that, even if I was force-fed and given all the 'substantial nourishment' to survive in a cell, I would very quickly loose all the necessary life force I derive from freedom and sunshine and open space and I would quickly wilt (like a flower I'd like to say but I know it sounds silly) and I'm convinced that within a matter of days I would just DIE of lifelessness.

I just couldn't believe all this was really so serious. It seemed so completely unreal, like some excerpt out of my worst ­ and most lucid nightmare,and worst of all there was no waking up.

Then in came the big policewoman who had stripped and searched me, when I first arrived here. She pointed to my hair and said something in Czech, which was translated as: "You will now get all your personal belongings removed from you, including all the things in your hair and you will then be brought to your separation cell." It sounded like a death sentence.

I could not bear it. I just couldn't. Not again into a cell and PLEASE NOT ALONE. I was sure that I couldn't spend one sane moment in there by myself, without being able to even contact anyone, with the complete uncertainty if anyone would ever even find me, with the uncertainty of what they were going to do to me. It was this crucial moment where I really freaked in my mind, but remained completely 'calm' on the outside, to prevent any immediate restrictive measures against me.

I knew I HAD to escape. And I knew that this was my very last chance to do so. There would be no more opportunity for an open window with only three bureaucrat cops in front of it. I could see the top of a tree outside, but it was too far to jump on to break my fall and there was no way of knowing what was to be expected down beneath the window. It was a leap into uncertainty, that was for sure, just as my arrest was a confinement into uncertainty. But given the possibility of choice, the 'jump for freedom' into uncertainty, was a million times better than being locked up into it. Behind me, the woman was starting to tug at my arm to try and take me away

It was now or never. I could feel nothing, hear nothing, see nothingexcept the panic, the voice of my spirit begging to escape, the passport on the table and the open window. I was so focused, that everything else around me became lost in an oblivious fogthe woman tugging at my arm, the investigators' rambling on in Czech, the translator's speech-disordered mumble, the 'ching ching' of the typewriter, it was all very distant to me and I went into something like a trance

I remember making some indefinable words come out of my mouth and putting something like a shield of protection around me, to prevent anyone from stopping me walk over to the table, as if pretending to look for something in the papers one more time. I had one second left

All I needed to do now was grab my passport, climb on the table and jump

I did so very suddenly, nobody had the reaction to stop me

and I leaped as far as I could out the window

As I jumped ­ I think I was still running in the air, passport in hand - I looked down, hoping to find something soft to land on. There were some meager looking bushes and I begged for them to catch my fall a little, but they were not thick enough to make any difference.

After a short but intense flight I crashed full force into the very very VERY hard, stony ground. That ground was the hardest thing I had ever felt in my life.

It was so hard that my landing foot crumbled immediately. It felt as though my legs were pushed up all the way into my chest, making me spit out my insides. I felt a paralyzing sharp snap. Pain soared instantly through my entire body and I knew that something had happened to my spine. I remember thinking whether I would ever be able to move again for the rest of my life. But for the moment, all I could do was scream scream SCREAMand hide the passport inside my undershirt in the crucial seconds before the police would come running out of the building. The pain was so excruciating I was near to faint. I just SCREAMED screamed, trying to release as much of the pain as possible by just screaming it out of me. At this moment, I cared about nothing, I only tried as much as possible to leave the unbearable sensation of my body.

Very quickly, the police arrived and crowded around me, treading down the bushes to make themselves get access. (I was in a kind of a ditch, sloping downward toward the house. This was also why the impact had been intensified, because the ground was on a slant - in the wrong direction) They all looked completely stunned but seemed to be aware that I couldn't and shouldn't be moved. So they just stood around me and definitely none of them really knew what to do at all, but I assumed the ambulance was on its way

I looked at them, especially the investigator, directly in the eyes (with surely very dilated pupils, as I was about to escape from my body) and said, in a tone of voice that surely couldn't be anything but the truth: "I am innocent, I am innocent, I am innocent. Please trust me, I am INNOCENT."

Some of the nervous cops, who were standing about, found this funny enough to laugh, but at least ONE policeman, condescended to kneel down and hold my hand. And though he attempted to stroke it as though it were a dead fish, it was a comforting feeling of soft and gentle touch and I must say, it helped me a lot. Despite my awareness that he didn't feel too comfortable about it himself. Or who knows, maybe he really was sorry. And I can't be completely sure, but I really do think that it may in fact have been the same one who had been sitting next to me in the police car all the day. The one who had given me so much shit and here he was holding my hand. And the amazing thing was that it was comforting. Because I needed it. I really needed it.

The ambulance came very quickly, it must've been within minutes. I still hadn't moved. I hadn't even been able to try, because my whole body was so tightly cramped with such unbelievable pain that I had kept the same - almost solidified - position, on my back, with both hands, one of which the policeman was holding, clenched spastically up in the air. I was immensely grateful that none of the other police, who were all just crowding around, mostly laughing nervously, had the crazy idea to even minimally touch my agonizingly destroyed leg.

When the first medical staff arrived from the ambulance, it was a great relief. Because even if they were stern and serious, they had the professional requirements to at least act humane. There was a hectic fuss of immediate diagnosis, giving me an injection and asking me where I felt pain. I didn't think it was even necessary to mention my foot since, judging by the way it felt, it was sure to look contorted enough to be obviously broken So, first of all, I used my energy only to point to my lower back and say that it hurt there. They checked me for pains in the chest area and one time the woman doctor put her hand exactly on the car keys, which were hidden away in my top, right alongside my passport. She looked surprised and I gave her a somewhat intense look, which explained to leave them there and not mention it to anyone. Later, I also gasped something like 'and my foot' only to get the very straightforward reply by the lady doctor: "Your foot is broken". And about my spine, she said, she was very worried, because "that could very well be broken too because the fall had been too high". She sounded almost empathetic when she said that, definitely she was very concerned about my not moving at all. So, then they came with a kind of plastic sheet, onto which everybody helped to lift me (finally the cops were good for something) to then transfer me onto a stretcher.

At the same time, the investigator was asking around almost hysterically for my passport, (they never even noticed the car keys being missing) which all the policemen were looking for in the bushes. I had it in my hand, clutched tightly to my chest, (very tightly since they had even strapped me to the stretcher) and I was NOT going to let them take it away from me, no matter what. I only hoped to get out and far away from this horrible place as soon possible before they would now decide to search my broken body for it. I managed to say (it was hard to speak) that I thought I saw it lying upstairs on the table. This rewarded me with the mild (inner smile provoking) entertainment of watching a group of police men run back upstairs to search it, and then look out the window, which I had just jumped out of, with puzzled faces and saying that they couldn't find it anywhere. I just closed my eyes and decided to escape from all this, waiting for them roll me into the ambulance. It wasn't until they finally closed the ambulance doors that I felt halfway safe from the police and extremely relieved not to have to see them anymore

Outside they continued to search the bushes for my passport.

As the ambulance took me away I let myself fall into the soft cushion of probably morphine and everything became very fuzzy. The pain was still there, and it was immense, but it was obscured by the opiate clouds and somehow became more distant. As I escaped my tormenting physical sensation, I began to fall into a deep delirium. I knew I was badly injured. I didn't know HOW badly injured. I didn't know how long I would need to recover, I didn't know IF I would ever fully recover. I didn't know anything really, except ONE thing: I was SO glad to be taken away from those completely insane police bastards. I actually thought, that in this condition, they were now going to leave me alone. I was so naïve.

We arrived at the hospital. It's hard to remember ALL the details, because every second I nearly passed out with pain and pain relief medication. But I will never forget my despair, when the ambulance doors opened and I was greeted by a welcoming committee of police. I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe that I actually thought they would leave me alone, when. They were there every moment, all around me all the time. Many of them were laughing about this so incredibly entertaining situation. And then began the torture.

Re-start here

They wheeled me into the ambulance room, where they took all the necessary X-rays. I was amazed how rough and unfriendly they all were with me, because I had thought that once I was in the hands of the hospital, I would be under the professional obligation to be medically cared for. And that meant also shock treatment, which usually provides a most basic requirement of psychologically stabilizing and humanitarian capacity. But I got no consoling or comforting words from anyone. There was no kindness and no care at ALL. They moved my leg about like it was a piece of butchers' slab they hurt me a lot a lot a lot and I SCREAMED like I have never screamed in my life. Nobody showed the slightest empathy.

There was only one person who seemed human and that was the lady doctor of the ambulance. She spoke to me like I was a normal person and not a terrorist. Though she wasn't there for long, she was so very concerned about my spine and I think that she was even concerned about me. In my panic, I begged her to call the number written on my foot and I told her what had been going on at the police station and WHY it was that I jumped out of that window. I begged her to trust me that I was innocent of whatever the police may have told her about me (which I figured must've been something horrendous, from the way hospital staff was treating me). Her presence was short but maybe my lifeline. Because, there was SOMEBODY, who did in fact call Sergio to get the word out and it could have only been someone that I trusted to inform the number to. And whoever it was, . THANK YOU !

The doctor came in and took my leg in both hands and twisted and stretched it, so that all the broken pieces inside scrunched and crushed about. I couldn't BELIEVE what he was doing.

Over and over and over again I screamed to PLEASE give me some medicine against the pain.

I must have repeated that sentence at least 300 times, but they gave me nothing. They did tell me to shut up, sometimes they held my mouth shut, so they wouldn't have to listen to me. They insulted me, saying things like why was I so stupid to jump out the window in the first place and that it was all my fault and therefore my problem, And anyway I'd come to Prague to destroy the city, so these were the consequences I'd have to face. I couldn't believe that the hospital staff was best friends with the police. Wasn't this nightmare ever going to end ???

(Now I'm having a very hard time recollecting the chronology but everything was AWFUL)

They put me in a room with some old people but the pain was so incredible and I couldn't stop screaming, so the nurses and the police shouted at me to shut up. They said these old people had pain too and needed to sleep. I tried to speak to the old people kindly, trying to apologize for my making too much noise, but the pain was so too much for me, I just couldn't stop screaming. Then the amazing thing was that suddenly the old women sat up in bed and started shouting, cursing and insulting me very angrily in Czech. I guess they were told that I was a terrorist.

I was beyond belief at this point. Wasn't there anyone normal anywhere?

Again I tried to apologize for everything and speak gently to the people around me and in between fits of convulsive pain I begged for them to listen to me, pleading my innocence, and begging over and over and over again to make a telephone call

I was only told to "Shut up, shut up!" But since I was screaming too much I was eventually put in a small supply room. My body guards from the police and the hospital made sure that everything was removed far away from the bed, so that I couldn't arm myself with anything that I could use to assault anyone(!?!) Then they put bars up on my bed, I guess to prevent me from escaping, with broken spine, smashed leg and all. I persistently insisted on my right to make a telephone call, but they only laughed in a very ugly way. I promised that I would call only my parents. (I actually promised the police NOT to call any legal aid). But not even that worked.

The most unforgettable event I think, was when that crazy bully of a nurse (the big one with the red hair), who kept telling me to shut up and violently moved my bed around to make the unbearable vibration cause me to scream even more, one time even took my broken, shattered leg, lifted it by the foot and shook it around as PUNISHMENT for my screaming !! I was SO near to faint with the soaring pain shooting through my whole body, and I so much wished I had, only to let me escape from this never-ending horror. But I stayed fully conscious and terrified, and I also realized that I better not provoke these two totally crazy women, this nurse and the nasty policewoman, who had heartily laughed her nasty laugh with the enjoyment of watching me scream when the nurse shook my leg. But, I was too furious to constrain myself as the pain filled me with rage and screaming as loud as I had to, I swore at them calling them "fucking bitches". Despite knowing this surely wouldn't improve my situation but it didn't seem like it could get any worse at this point.

One time the doctor came in to speak to me. Like everyone, he was very angry with me. He introduced himself as my doctor, who was in charge of my leg and nothing else. He said he didn't care about all this sensational hype that was going on about me, or the "IMF". (The way he said "IMF" it sounded like and alien concept to him and it didn't seem like he could have had much of an idea what the protests were even about). But, whatever all this "IMF" may have meant to him, This was the first time I found out about any "sensational hype" about ME.

I begged to just let me make a phone call, I begged him to let someone come to see me for just a few minutes, I begged him to let me contact a lawyer,... He said I couldn't make any phone calls, because "This was a hospital and anyway, we have enough with all the press and the police everywhere, we really don't want your friends here. You are here because of you medical condition and that's what I'm here to take care of and NOTHING else." I asked him what was the trouble if a "friend" came here for just a few minutes just to help me get some legal service arranged, which was every persons basic right . And he just interrupted me by shouting that my 'friends' have destroyed half the city of Prague "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR FRIENDS HAVE DONE TO THE CITY OF PRAGUE ?!!"

And I said "No, I don't. I've been only in jail. But please, I'm asking you personally as myself personally to please trust me. I am innocent. I didn't and I never intended to destroy anything On the contrary, I like many others, were here only to stop destruction. I don't know what the police told you, but honestly I haven't done anything to anyone and was charged with criminal offences which I didn't DO, so PLEASE let me TELEPHONE!" (I began to feel like a broken record)

Because of the overall confusion and being constantly terrified, I cannot be sure about the chronological sequence, but I believe it was somewhere in the middle of all this that I WAS at some point, somewhat sedated. I remember being extremely surprised, but also surprisingly apathetic, or maybe just in a stupor of shock -since I was actually fully conscious- when watching the doctor inject local anasthaetic into both sides of my heel and then proceed to drill through my foot with a big hardware type drill. Through the hole they then put a steel bar, and I don't know exactly when, but either I simply passed out, or if they liberated me from consciousness,I only I remember my coming to with a cast up to my hip which hadn't been there before. (But I don't remember WHEN all this happened. If it was before the judge was there or after)

It seemed so unbelievable to me HOW I could be denied such a simple basic right as a telephone call, in a supposedly humane infrastructure of a hospital, and on top of that, in a considerably injured condition. They told me that I could be paralyzed for life if I moved, but they didn't allow me to call even my parents, it just seemed so absurd. It also seemed so unbelievable that anyone, who I looked in the eyes and said so sincerely, directly and deeply that I was INNOCENT, that ANYONE could actually NOT believe me. This I found unbelievable.

Did I really seem like such a dangerous, violent and destructive person to them?

Despite all the abuse, I spoke to everyone kindly (except for the one time they shook my foot and I had to use bad language, because it was just too much). Even to the nasty policewoman, who was there all the time to guard me, (as if I was in any condition to escape) I asked: "WHY do you hate me so much? You don't even know me. Whatever it is you were told about me, do you just believe everything you're told ?" But she would just look at me blankly with a cold face. I guess that maybe she didn't understand enough English.

But finally, after I don't know how many times of insisting that I was a harmless person and begging for just one telephone call, the doctor eventually became a little nicer. He even admitted that there was, in fact, no need to phone anybody, because there were many, many people outside the hospital RIGHT NOW and that they were all here to see me and they had been there for a long time already. At this moment, I nearly DID faint ­and not from pain but happiness!
I freaked completely and nearly wanted to hug him for this news if I could have moved and said: "Can I see them? Can I see them? PLEASE can I see them !?"

He told me I had to wait. "First there has to be a hearing by the judge".

"When is that?"

"Now."

   
   
   

 

 
   
         

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