September 1st, 2008
07:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Police arrest dozens of 'anarchists' outside GOP convention

Police in riot gear stand guard over protestors under arrest in St. Paul Monday.

Police in riot gear stand guard over protestors under arrest in St. Paul Monday.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - At least 56 people were arrested Monday after police fired rubber bullets and used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a crowd demonstrating near the site of the Republican National Convention.

CNN photojournalists witnessed police detaining between 20 and 30 individuals with plastic handcuff a few blocks from the security perimeter around the Xcel Center in downtown St. Paul.

A crowd of 300 individuals was later seen conducting what appeared to be a sit-in at parking lot near the Mississippi River.

Earlier in the day a group of self-described anarchists threw park benches into streets and smashed windows Monday, police said.

Thomas Walsh, a public information officer for the St. Paul Police Department, said Monday afternoon said 13 people had been arrested so far, accused of damage to property and conspiracy to riot. Those arrested will be formally charged in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday, he said.

The arrest of the "anarchists" came after nearly 5,000 protesters marched peacefully outside the site of the Convention site. While Walsh described the individuals as a being part of a "splinter group" from the main body of protesters, he said it would not characterize their activity as being a protest.

"I think they did a disservice to those that came here to protest," he said.

- CNN's Kevin Myers and Joe Johns contributed to this report.

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Proud American

    Now its a party.

    September 1, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Repub turned Repub

    Sad to see these are the people that support the DNC. Proud to be americans

    September 1, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. longhairs for obama

    police shouldnt have illegally raided their meeting centers and homes.

    September 1, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |

    No violence!

    September 1, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. ramona

    Anarchist? That's soooooooooooooo 1920's.

    September 1, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. McWho?

    recreate 68 ? wow just another example of GOP stepping all over our constitution...when will it end?...oh thats right November 4th

    September 1, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. C

    What a shame-not a surprise, but a shame! Why don't they do something to HELP someone else rather than act in such a way? In light of what was going on in the country today, why don't they help with fundraising for the hurricane victims? Sure, they have a right to express their opinion of dissent, but wouldn't our country be a better place if everyone would do something good for someone else before complaining and protesting?

    September 1, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. zach

    i'm very disappointed with the fact that the protesters are being made out be the bad ones cause of a few bad apples. but what about the police raids on protesters homes? how come the "unbiased" media isnt touching this story. they werent terrorists. just americans sick of the way things are. ready for a change. it should be the biggest story today. a violation of americans civil rights. but i guess i see where cnn stands on that issue.

    September 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Ratgurl

    Is it still considered a "convention" if my small company's Christmas party had more people in attendance than this "meeting of the minds?"

    September 1, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. pa

    the democrats are at it again
    that why we lost in veitnam
    they are low lifes or are great country

    September 1, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. mcbush!

    ever wonder what a police state would look like?

    September 1, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Citizen Watch

    Why put quotations around anarchists? Makes it sound as though CNN did not describe them this way in earlier reports. No one has a right to destroy property. Protesting peacefully is one thing; breaking the law is another. I suspect Minnesotians will now have a close up and personal look at the fringe element that Obama attracts.

    September 1, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. Not This Time

    I understand their anger and frustration. But protestors we must let are voices be heard in a civil, peaceful matter. Let us march on in solidarity against The Republican Party.

    September 1, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Jeff R

    Why can't Dem's protest peacefully? The same type of things happened in NYC during 2004 RNC. This makes a lot of sense, anti-war protesters protest violently. Is this the kind of people who make up the Democratic Party?

    September 1, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. Tony

    That;s republican party at work, think about it.... Need to show it on tv....

    September 1, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. William, from Cali!

    This is still America, disobey her rules or break her laws; you will rightfully pay the price............

    September 1, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Texico From Mexico

    Looks like more Police brutality to me...gos this so reminds me of Kent State and the Nixon Administration....guess the GOP has not come that far in all these years.

    September 1, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. NO Extremeright Palin 08

    Is that Russia? What are we turning into?

    September 1, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Matt

    Gotta love how the liberals are fine with their people protesting violently, but if a republican were to protest period, they'd be up in arms about it.

    September 1, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Bryan

    What does this say about where our country stands? I didn't see any major news about demonstrators at the DNC... It's time for change.. it will happen and McCain is just digging a deep hole for himself.... OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!

    September 1, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Louise

    If the 'anarchists' didn't kill anyone (war) or lie to anyone (Bush) or put the country into a huge financial hole (Republicans and Bush) then who's the real bad guys here?

    September 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. cb

    These people are by NO means dems.
    These are anarchists. I think some of them describe themselves as the far-libertarian-left— they want to bring down all government. They do not support democrats.

    September 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Voting for Obama

    No more republicans!!!

    Proud Hilary supporter for Obama/Biden 2008 and beyond!

    Lets take back this country Dems!

    September 1, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Linda31

    Did I miss something? I didn't see anything in this article that say that they were Democrats?

    Curious though, that the Dems were able to have a peaceful convention and the Repubs haven't made it past the 1st day even with our national crisis.

    September 1, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. Independent in NC

    I don't think "anarchists" support the Dems either. And because of them, the message of the peaceful protestors is overshadowed.

    September 1, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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