GOP convention protest arrests tally nearly 300
September 3, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn. ” Police arrests tally nearly 300 following sometimes violent confrontations this week, and more protests were planned for Wednesday and Thursday, the final two days of the Republican National Convention.
Some protest organizers have promised to resume their often confrontational actions near where delegates are meeting in the Xcel Energy Center until the GOP convention ends its four-day run.
Police said Wednesday they had arrested 10 people throughout Tuesday, but they declined to offer specifics about each incident. Total arrests for the week were 294, including 137 felonies.
At least three of the arrests Tuesday came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor violent as events a day before, when nearly 300 people were arrested in numerous run-ins in downtown St. Paul.
Police estimated about 2,000 people took part in the poverty march, which lasted about three hours. It ended near the convention arena with police using tear gas and flash-bang grenades to disperse protesters they said were trying to get past security fences, said Tom Walsh, a St. Paul police spokesman.
The arrests Tuesday came a day after violence erupted following a largely peaceful anti-war march by some 10,000 people. Afterward, police blamed a splinter group of about 200 for harassing delegates, smashing windows, puncturing car tires, throwing bottles and starting at least one fire.
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The RNC Welcoming Committee, a self-described anarchist group that has worked for months planning convention disruptions, claimed success in e-mails to its members and media. “The spectacle has been crashed!” read one.
That group wasn’t officially connected with the organizers of either march.