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. Credit Card Republicans

    Take a good look at the new brown shirts in action,only they are wearing helmets and using gas.

    September 1, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    This is the republican party and John McSame trying to censor free speech and the 2nd amendment!

    so much for democracy in america!!!!!!

    September 1, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. Adrienne

    "conspiracy to riot!" What a crock.

    September 1, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. jason

    wow. could the GOP be more fascist?

    September 1, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  5. Chris

    Yep, this is the Republicans view of right to protest. Stormtroopers in the streets arresting everyone. You didn;t see stories like this during the DNC.

    September 1, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Tom in Denver

    The so-called anarchists are NOT Democrats. They protested during the DNC in Denver as well. There just weren't enough of them to cause a stir. Or perhaps police in the Twin Cities are more aggressive.

    September 1, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Tex Ann

    Let's see– if you were a Republican demonstrating outside the Democratic convention in Denver, you were just an American exercising your free speech rights, correct??? But if you're a Democrat protesting outside the Republican convention, then you're suddenly an "anarchist"??

    People!!! We need to get the Bush/Cheney administration out of power as soon as possible!! And we don't need any more dictator wanna-be's like either of them in Washington ever again. This administration has to be the most power hungry corrupt bunch of despots ever to hold office in this country. This administration is actually scary beyond words. Will we ever know just how many secret "executive orders" Bush signed? I don't think most people know how very close to a police-state we have become under this administration. It should scare the bejeebers out of every one of us!

    September 1, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Peter E

    For anyone trying to defend these self-declared 'anarchists' I advise you to look up the names Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. These are examples from recent history of what 'anarchists' do.

    September 1, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Donald, Canton NC

    Yeah lets not see or hear protesters expresssing their freedom of speech at the Republican convention; nor are they safe in their homes as evidenced by the intervention of police officers the other night.

    What was in the search warrant that led to this invasion of privacy. Where's the reporting on it??????

    September 1, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. JW

    Dang CNN, you're just as bad as Fox noise – who called these people "anarchists"? I'm glad you weren't around in 1968.

    September 1, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. gary


    September 1, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Peter E

    These 'anarchists' are soooo not democrats... they just happened to NOT do any protesting against democrats in Denver. Why is it that these people ONLY protest republicans if they're against all authority and all government?

    September 1, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. Steve - southern Illinois

    After the last eight years I'm amazed there are people who publicly admit they are republicans.

    Thanks for George Bush idiots!

    September 1, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. The Lady

    I heard they arrested some protestors outside the DNC also, but I did not see pictures like this.!!!!!!!

    September 1, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Shannon

    wow, did Republicans behave in such a disrespectful way during the Democratic convention. Obama and his supporters have made me ashamed that I was a Democrat for 30 years. The operative word there being was, as a resident of MN, I don't appreciate these criminals spending my tax dollars and endangering the lives of police officer. Hope change and unity, now that's funny!

    September 1, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. Peter E

    Apparently you people have no idea what 'anarchist' means and what they do. Look up Timothy McVeigh and think again if the police still should have just let them do what they do...

    September 1, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Steve - southern Illinois

    People who voted for George Bush twice should be begging for forgiveness instead of slinging insults at democrats.

    September 1, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. mang

    These people are not exercising Constitutional Rights, they are violating the law. I am no Republician and I think that they are well within their rights to protest. But to break windows and tear up a city's bus benches that is wrong. No one should condone violence in place of violence. No war and no violence. Protest peacefully, Obama would not support this.

    Obama 08

    September 1, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Marie

    The news medias were predicting similar protests at the Democratic Convention. What happened didn't the protests come about or did the Democrats let them go ahead and exercise their constitutional rights.

    What's worse smashing a few windows or being responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousand people in Iraq? Don't fret I expect McCain will get elected and you'll be able to hurl your anger at Russia and Iran and China and Venezula etc. etc. McCain's list goes on and on it's never ending.

    September 1, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  20. Wayne Eusanio

    ...the protestors should tell the Police they were angry about a sporting event, say a Lakers game, or, they thought it was May Day in Los Angeles. Either way, they would have been treated better.

    September 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. Don Hiller

    Byran; With "What does this say about where our country stands? I didn't see any major news about demonstrators at the DNC" and Linda31; with "Curious though, that the Dems were able to have a peaceful convention ".
    Apparently you did not take note of the HUGE HUGE police presence in Denver last week!. Was/Is that the case in the Saintly city of Paul?

    September 1, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  22. Laughing Republican

    Because throwing bleach on an 80 year old woman is the way to convince people to stop the war in Iraq. You people are so partisan you can't even condemn violence for the sake of anti-violence. While these protesters may not have been Democrats, those of you who are Democrats supporting the protesters actions are not making a good name for yourselves or your party.

    September 1, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. John Harden

    If you protest you must do it peacefully. That is the law. The protestors today are no different from those during the Vietnam era. Do they have anything better to do? Probably not!

    My college roommate was mustering out of the Marine Corps in 1970 out West. A hippie protestor urinated on his duffle bag, He was getting ready to take out the low life but a senior NCO told him to stand down. He obeyed the order like a good Marine.

    Most of these protestors have never been anywhere or nor have they ever done anything. I had a young college gal working for me several years ago and she used to fly around to protest all over the country. She was a political science major and on a plan. She used to criticize Bush and the good old USA. I told her if she didn't like the status quo she should go back to Mexico where she came from.

    When I came back to the USA from the war in SW Asia in the fall of 2002 I wrote President Bush a letter and told him how the vast majority of the soldiers in the theater held him in high esteem. He replied with a letter and a picture and they are on the wall of my office to this day.

    These proterstors are most likely liberal Democrats and are going to vote for Obama. They have that right as soldiers protect that right. However, Barak Obama is totally transparent and is as full of bull as a Christmas turkey. He has accomplished nothing in life other than graduating from Harvard Law School. His wife is a downright racist and angry. If it's so bad why don't they both leave!! He is a communist/ Marxist that subscribes to the "all for one and one for all" ideology.

    Thank God for John McCain and Sara Palin.

    John Harden, COL, U.S. Army, Retired

    September 1, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. Tom

    Police Dispatcher, "No, no, no your misunderstood, the anarchists are INSIDE the GOP convention."


    September 1, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  25. KG

    The people doing this demonstrating on the news all look like they are old enough to know better, for the first time in my adult life I am ashamed to be a democrate.

    September 1, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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