We had communally, purchased this building that was going to be our office space and meeting space too. It was some kind of living space as well. There was a kitchen, a living room, and an office inside. Various compartments in a house that, from the inside, it looked like it was made out of either wood or thin brick.
The building stood alone in the middle of what looked like a forest, but it must have been a park in the middle of the city, for we could all get there on our bikes after an easy ride.
So there we would meet to socialise, party some times, and various kinds of general mischief. We had to leave our bikes outside, though. So I would bring my bag inside and leave it, together with the keys for my bike locks, somewhere safe, inside. If it was warm, I would leave my outer layers next to my bags too.
It felt safe inside, even when riots erupted around the city. We first saw regular police run past the house. They never paid attention to it, or to us. We felt so safe in our little house we took refuge in it after going round being aware of the situation in the city.
Then came the riot cops. Again, we did not even care to close the front door. Some of them looked at us from the lines they had to follow, and then they continued to run to wherever the orders were sending them.
But suddenly and without warning, we were surrounded. This time, the cops had come specifically for this house. We decided to close the doors as the light beams pointed at the house at once. The riot cops we had seen running were at a prudent distance, surrounding the house, forming the first line. Then there was a line of more heavily armoured police than the normal riot police. And after them were either police on horses or cars and vans. Three police lines in total surrounding us.
In other buildings, it had always been possible to sneak out and hide between the streets. But here… well, first we would have to find our bikes. And there were no streets around us. Just the park/forest.
As we were deliberating what to do next, a bang … a deafening din against one of the walls. We looked out the window. Some one, or something, warned us that looking out the window was definitely not a good idea. But almost without looking we realised they were shooting at us. They were shooting heavy artillery against our tiny little house. The first shot had almost managed to make a hole in the wall. Then there were more. All of them damaged the walls, there was no real hole, just a bump. And the structure seemed to stay firm. We were surprised that the house was proving so strong.
We negotiated. We surrendered. It was important to get out of there alive, and with as few arrested as possible.
We had to let them in. They allowed some of us to gather our bags and get on our bikes. Some others managed to sneak out and run through the police lines – somehow.
I got to where my bike was, still within the circle of the triple police line, only to realise that I had left my keys inside. I went back inside. A police officer all in white clothes was now giving instructions to everyone, and showing especially vicious contempt to some of my friends who had stayed inside to deal with the police and whatever they wanted.
The keys we had for the building no longer worked as the authorities had taken possession of it and changed the locks. I was allowed inside. It was going to be difficult now to find my keys in the mess that the house was now in.
As I was looking for my keys I could hear the others talk and I tried to figure out what the situation was. It was not clear what they were looking for. It looked more like they had just wanted the existence of the house to finish, and with it, the community inside it too. The man in white clothes continuously gave orders to my friend who was dealing with the situation, telling him to close this door and the other.
I finally found my keys; it had not been such a long or hard task as I had thought. And none of my keys were missing, which I found remarkable too.
Then I was allowed out of the house, but with all the hustle and bustle, it felt like I was sneaking out too. They were not interested in me. Then I realised it had got cold. And I remembered that my outer, thicker layers of clothing, were still inside too. This time I did not ask for permission; I just sneaked back in.
Now the whole house was full of cops, and there was only one of my friends left. I did not see any one arrested, and they were clearly allowing us to get back for our things.
The house was still standing, even though it did have some serious bumps on the walls. But it was not clear what use the house would have from now on. Hopefully we would gather somewhere outside this park and find another house that would have the same functions as this lovely little house now lost.
I now had all my things and could get to my bike and ride, looking for the friends who had been with me in the house.