Police Arrest 102 After Rage Against the Machine Concert

Posted September 4, 2008 at 11:29am

Police arrested 102 protesters in Minneapolis in the early morning hours on Thursday, bringing the total arrests at the Republican National Convention to 422.

Most were charged with misdemeanors after thousands demonstrated in the streets of downtown Minneapolis near countless delegation and media parties. Police expected the crowds — Rage Against the Machine, a political rock band known for creating rallies, was playing at the Target Center.

“We were very, very worried about this,” Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said. “It was a recipe for the perfect storm.”

But Dolan characterized the night as a success despite the arrests, pointing to the lack of both violence and use of chemicals such as pepper spray.

Protesters “were rambunctious, but they were not damaging property, they were not assaulting anyone,” he said.

On Thursday, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington predicted a day of peaceful protests, with police starting out in “soft uniforms” rather than full riot gear. When asked how officials would handle a march scheduled to take place this afternoon without a permit, he said they would try to accommodate any peaceful demonstrations.

“The plan is really about being at the ready,” he said, “not about being in crisis mode.”