Minneapolis police arrested 102 people Wednesday night after fans leaving a Rage Against the Machine concert started an impromptu march to protest the Republican National Convention, which was happening nearby in St. Paul.
The group marched up and down First Avenue near the Target Center, where the concert was held. The crowd, which was originally made up of about 250 people, seemed like it would die down, according to Police Chief Tim Dolan, who told Minnesota Public Radio, “We’re OK, they’re thinning out a lot.”
But the crowd didn’t leave as fast as the dozen or so police officials — most of whom were dressed in riot gear and arrived on the scene by foot, bicycle or horseback — would have liked, and eventually the remaining members of the march were gathered up by law enforcement and hauled off to jail in two city buses.
Dan Kriske, who told MPR that he was merely observing the march, said the police placed him and two of his friends under arrest but eventually let them go. “We were watching the convention at about 10 p.m., and we saw people gearing up for protest rides,” Kriske said. “And we’re like, ’Oh, we should actually check this out because it might be cool. Like a history in action kind of thing.”
He added that he saw police use pepper spray on some of the concert attendees. This is the first major incident in Minneapolis since the RNC started earlier this week. Unlike the protest held in St. Paul on Monday, there was no property damage or violence.
The incident marked the second time this week that Rage Against the Machine were involved in a clash with Twin Cities police. On Tuesday, the band attempted to play a show on the State Capitol lawn in St. Paul, but police cut the power, saying that Rage arrived too close to the concert’s curfew time, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Instead, the band led the crowd in a cappella renditions of its songs “Bulls on Parade” and “Killing in the Name.”
Don’t miss out on the action: MTV News and our Street Team ’08 will be on the ground at both conventions to sort through all the speeches, streamers and ceremony to find the information you need to choose our next president. And head to Choose or Lose for nonstop coverage of the 2008 presidential election.