Updates on Protests at Republican Convention

by on September 2, 2008 · 0 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Election, Organizing

Outside GOP convention, heavy police presence meets thousands protesting poverty, homelessness

By Martiga Lohn and Jon Krawczynski / Associated Press / September 2, 2008

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A heavy police presence, with many officers in full riot gear, stood ready Tuesday as some 2,000 people protested poverty and homelessness near the Republican convention arena. A day after nearly 300 people were arrested for scattered acts of violence near the arena, protesters rallied at a park before marching to the Xcel Energy Center about nine blocks away, where they planned to serve Republicans with a “citizens’ arrest” for crimes against humanity.

Monday’s violence unfolded after 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. 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. The group, which wasn’t officially connected to the organizers of either Monday or Tuesday’s march, hinted at more trouble.

“We are excited about what the next few days may bring now that the illusion of business as usual has been shattered,” said Rose DaBarr, a spokeswoman for the group, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Tuesday’s march was organized by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. Spokeswoman Cheri Honkala said the march would deviate from the permitted path to go by the county jail, where some of those arrested Monday remained. Honkala said marchers wanted the event to be nonviolent.

Police said they were ready for problems. “We are anticipating that there may well be less criminal activity because there are less of them out there,” St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington said. “But we do not expect there will be no criminal activity.” ST. PAUL, Minn. – A heavy police presence, with many officers in full riot gear, stood ready Tuesday as some 2,000 people protested poverty and homelessness near the Republican convention arena.

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Four arrested covering protest at GOP convention

New York, September 2, 2008—A camera crew, broadcast host, and photographer were arrested Monday while covering protests at the Republican National Convention in St Paul, Minn. Police in downtown St. Paul swept up the journalists while arresting more than 250 other people during an unruly end to an otherwise peaceful anti-war protest, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. All three were later released.

“I held up my press pass as I was filming,” said one of those arrested, Nicole Salazar, a producer and videographer for the nationally syndicated radio and television program, “Democracy Now!” Salazar suffered a bloody nose after being pushed by officers into a parked car, she told CPJ. Sound technician Sharif Abdel Kouddous was arrested as he was coming to her side and holding up a press pass, he told CPJ.

“Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman was arrested after she approached a line of police to inquire about the status of her arrested colleagues. Her arrest was captured on film.

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