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Mass arrests of protesters at Republican National Convention
Thursday, September 4, 2008 :Authorities have carried out a massive mobilization of federal, state and local police and military forces to cordon off the Republican National Convention from protesters opposed to the partys program of militarism and social reaction.
Over the last few days, nearly 300 people have been arrested near and around the Xcel Energy Center and downtown St. Paul, Minnesota has been transformed into a virtual armed camp to intimidate demonstrators and silence dissent.
The police reported Wednesday that they had arrested 11 more people Tuesday, including three at an anti-poverty demonstration, but would not give any more details. As the march of an estimated 3,000 people ended near the convention center police fired tear gas and lobbed concussion or flash-bang grenades to disperse protesters, who police claimed were trying to get past security fences.
A total of 295 people have been arrested, including 137 charged with felonies such as conspiracy to commit riot. Many continued to be detained. The bulk of those arrested were seized during an antiwar march of 10,000 people on the Monday, the opening day of the convention. Demonstrators were forced to run the gauntlet of hundreds of riot-equipped and black-uniformed police, FBI agents and 150 National Guard troops carrying shields.
The police fired tear gas, beanbags and used tasers to arrest hundreds of protesters. Also targeted were independent journalists and photographers and groups that monitor police abuse against protesters. Among those seized by the police were an Associated Press photographer, a group of University of Kentucky student journalists and Amy Goodman, the host of the liberal radio show Democracy Now! Goodman was arrested for interfering with peace officers when she questioned police about the arrest and bloodying of her shows two producers.Read More