Silvia Escuder

Interviewed September 20, 2017 for Catalunya Barcelona docuseries.

It all started the 17thof August of this year, 2017.

We were working, as usual, in an office and all of a sudden we heard helicopters, police officers, and even a lot of people moving.

We started wondering what might have happened.

Then, we realized there had been an attack on the city.

Then, we quickly called the police. They told us they had blocked all ‘les Rambles’ area and we couldn’t get out of the building.

Of course, we, responsible for the team and everyone, thought, “There’s part of the team that left before.”

It all was quite complicated. The first thing we did was call all this people, without even realizing the seriousness of the incidents.

The police didn’t want to give too much information either, it was all blocking the building, not allowing us outside, so that’s what we did.

Then we called all the people who had left before, they were okay.

We stoop updated online, and the truth is that it felt like it was out of a move.

We couldn’t believe it, it was horrible. Horrible news was constantly coming up about the drama that the city had suffered.

A very complicated situation, we didn’t understand anything. We’re not used to these things.

Personally, we were afraid.

We were about an hour and a half or two locked in. People wanted to go home to their families and friend.

We kept them from that, telling them not to go out, that we’d get them anything they wanted but that they had to stay inside.

Helicopters and all didn’t stop ringing, the news was ever more horrible.

Those hours were a constant drama and trying to keep everyone inside.

We were, in all, about five hours there in that building, not allowed to go out. There was people from outside Barcelona and we offered them a corporate flat, all the help we could, calling their families and so.

In our case, everyone was okay. But many families suffered horribly that day.

After that, came the next day.

The next day, when all the stories from friends, relatives, acquaintances, and all the tragedies that have been suffered in the city arrive.

The truth is that we don’t deserve that.

It’s always, as we can see, due to politics or maybe religion, whichever, the people, the tourists, didn’t deserve that, they were here enjoying the city.

Now, what will they think about Barcelona?

Barcelona, where some relative was lost, where my child died.

That’s not what we want, not at all.

We don’t understand how this happened and how it still happens abroad in a daily basis.

I don’t know how to explain this experience.

We try to keep calm, but even now we walk afraid through the city of Barcelona, and that shouldn’t happen.

What’s going on today?

The people are demonstrating because they want to vote. I think that we are a free country, everyone has the right to demonstrate.

Today there’s some chaos in the city, it’s full of police officers, full of helicopters, the center is locked up. Apparently, they have shut the local printing houses, which we don’t understand. Nowadays, you don’t need a local printing house to print anything.

But they’ve done this because of the referendum.

The Guardia Civil is blockading all the official buildings so there’s no circulation, but all the population, the citizens are taking the streets.

Sincerelly, I think that we have [a right to] freedom of speech and that everyone should be free to be able to voice their opinion on every subject.