September 1st, 2008
07:20 PM ET
6 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. Bob

    Hmmmm....Right wing nuts are dangerous....

    Left wing nuts are opressed by the police....

    Nuts are nuts!!!

    {this comment will be placed in moderation until after Nov 4}

    September 1, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Why?

    Seems like the police are going to extreme measures there.

    September 1, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. common sense

    So much for little government! Oh yeah or right to protest.

    September 1, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. sam

    i wonder which number will be higher: the attendance at the convention or the number of protesters?

    September 1, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Have to post Anonymously now

    Yes. Protest is nasty and un-American. Like the Boston Tea Party we celebrate every July 4th. No good American could support destruction of private property like that!

    September 1, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. alvino

    5000 peaceful protesters and 300 involved in a sit in. Maybe McCain will get 80,000 protesters show up on Thursday for his acceptance speech.

    September 1, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Nevada dude

    the people have a right to protest!!

    September 1, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. DeniseGA

    These people are anti-war protesters, no one knows who they support. Don't blame Obama!

    September 1, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    Oh I see... a bunch of nitwits protest the GOP convention and they are automatically Democrats? I guess every time I hear a story about teen pregnancy cover-ups, married men having gay encounters in bathrooms or coke snorting politicians, I will automatically think of Republicans.

    September 1, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. chris H

    First let me say that I have not decided who to vote for yet but am leaning toward McCain. That said, I just witnessed Campbell Brown pressing very hard to one of McCain's aides "Tucker" about Gov. Palin's qualifications.
    Why doesn't anyone press the Democrats about Obama and his lack of experience. I want the answers to his experience. I have seen nothing, and I am appalled at the biased reporting.

    September 1, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Dale

    Funny, some of the responses here mention democrats and/or liberals protesting, but there's no mention of them at all in the article itself. I guess people believe what they want to, no matter what the facts are.

    Oh, wait, it's Republicans we're talking about here.

    September 1, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. 68 year young man

    Just hopped up hell raisers!!! Has very little to do with any war just rebellion against any authority !! Is that what liberals think freedom is ?

    September 1, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. Ted:Canada

    You look "bad" America...
    From the outside you look terrible!!!!!!!!

    The repub convention looks like something from a country
    with a dictatorship.

    WOW!!!! this is how the outside world sees America
    The photo speaks for itself.

    September 1, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Steven E Potts

    I will be so glad when this election is over and we determine whether we will live in a socialist state where the state takes care of all our needs, redistributes are income, ends all incentive to work hard and earn more or we live in a country that believes in the ability of people to take care of themselves, work hard, create jobs by investing in themselves and their businesses. Will we live in a country that has a president with no experience or one in which the VP has limited experience?
    I cannot wait to stop hearing from all the whining Obama people (about the Hillary people or the McCain people) and get on with our lives, providing for our families without government hand outs.

    September 1, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. non black nonwhite

    who thought being an anarchists is a good thing? I guess after the failure of the GOPS for the past 8yrs can do that to some.

    September 1, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Ramesh Shrestha

    Guys, try to decipher broad GOP conspiracy theory here. The peaceful protesters have a good cause to do what they are doing. These are great Americans. Hurrah for them. But, the anarchists are none but hired Republican gundas. Way to go, Mr. McCain. You have finally initiated the Behari style of politics in this land. Good luck.

    ObamaBiden '08.

    September 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. Debby

    Yep the libs are protesting the war because of the killings and yet they support abortions.

    September 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. Don Tackas

    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING

    September 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. Mc"Widow-maker"Cain

    Great, we obviously need more unfounded generalizations about Democrats...

    Maybe the GOP should give all the portesters tickets so someone will actually be watching the speeches?

    September 1, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Andrew B

    Not many of those people will vote Democrat so I dont see where people come to see them as "Democrats". They are anarchists, they hate both parties

    September 1, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Are people 'defending' the violent protesters????????

    REALLY??????? REALLY???????

    OH MY I just heard a reporter on CNN say ' The police got mad because the protesters overturned some police cars'

    I know what he was trying to say but it came out as if the police over reacted.

    We all have the God given right to protest.

    WE HAVE NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER TO BE VIOLENT WHILE DOING SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GET IT?!?!?!?!?!!??!

    IT IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAVING A PEACEFUL PROTEST AND A VIOLENT PROTEST!!!!!!!!

    If you guys don't see a they are not the same well you need a nap or lay off the wine or beer a bit.

    September 1, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. common sense

    Anarchist...terrorist...what's the difference? Just a bunch of street urchins wearing al-qaeda hoods. Let us see your faces! Burning and looting your way in an attempt to impress your friends with a cheap you-tube video. How you disgust me! What a bunch of cowards trying to stifle free speech, and the rights of people to gather safely to openly discuss their political views.

    September 1, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. Edward

    Sorry guys, check the link yourselves CNN is blocking me from posting it, apparently police "preemptively" made arrests... what happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? our civil liberties are under attack and we're losing the battle underneath this administration.

    September 1, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. MPLS "greeter"

    So sad to see that the media is lumping all the protesters together as "anarchists." I have seen first hand peaceful protesters bullied away by cops just to make the false impression that the RNC is welcome here. The RNC will find that Minnesota does not share it's extreme values. Ms. Palin, creationism in our public schools? Really? What is the GOP thinking?

    September 1, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Ken, Plano, TX

    The Republicans need incidents to scare the public. They'd rather have something bigger and more credible, but now that they've introduced us to the concept of "free speech zones," it's time for us to learn that there's to be NO FREE SPEECH outside of such "free speech zones" as it pleases them to corral us in.

    These are great Americans.

    September 1, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.