Police, protesters clash near convention

September 2, 2008

ST. PAUL – Police in riot gear used pepper spray and smoke bombs against a few hundred violent protesters on Monday, and at least a dozen were arrested outside the arena where the Republican party opened its presidential convention.

In the video above, a police officer lobs a smoke bomb in the direction of the camera.

Officers on horseback, motorcycles and bicycles chased down a group of rock- and bottle-throwing protesters that had broken off from a larger, largely peaceful, march by as many as 10,000 people. The smaller group smashed police car windows and a Macy’s storefront, and a few threw glass bottles at police.

In the video above, police march down Kellogg Avenue in St Paul.

A Reuters reporter saw police handcuffing some of the protesters in a parking lot not far from the convention.

The demonstrators earlier had marched from the Minnesota state capitol to the heavily barricaded Xcel Center, where John McCain will accept the Republican presidential nomination later this week. They chanted anti-war slogans and waved signs criticizing President George W. Bush.

Public safety officials put the crowd at 8,000 to 10,000 and reported seven arrests.

The march wound past bus stops where advertisements from the Democratic National Committee showed Bush and McCain hugging with the slogan, “Does this look like change to you?”

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I find it ironic that anti-war protesters acted violently.

Posted by Jeremy Bacher | Report as abusive

That is not a smokebomb. It is chlorine gas. Tear Gas.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Also, protesters are peaceful. Rioters are the ones being violent. Were the police handcuffing protesters or rioters?

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Were was the violence? I only saw smoke bomb flung at a camera man, some flares with police marching towards what looked like a calm gathering. I think we need more pictures and videos before we start using adjectives like “violent” etc.. Not what I expected from Reuters.

Posted by natheya | Report as abusive