Article Last Updated: 09/05/2008 03:01:09 AM CDT
St. Paul’s wild week of world-class protests ended Thursday with a flurry of demonstrations, mass arrests and traffic-stopping events.
But as the final protests of the week wound down Thursday night, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington sighed with relief.
“I’m glad this is almost over,” he said during a mass arrest of about 300 people on the Marion Street bridge over Interstate 94.
The arrest tally for the week topped 500, not including the Marion Street protesters. Some of those arrested Thursday had guns or other weapons, Harrington said.
The day’s events began with police closing the High Bridge at 9:45 a.m. because of the high volume of traffic, police said.
Early in the afternoon, about 150 students from Youth Against the War and Racism marched to the Peace Island Picnic at Harriet Island.
The day’s largest protest began at 4 p.m. with several hundred people at the State Capitol.
As the last speaker wrapped up her speech about 4:50 p.m., a police officer announced over the loudspeaker: “Your permit will expire at 5 p.m. At that point, you don’t have a right to march.”
Some protesters sat down in the street, chanting “Whose war? Their war! Whose streets? Our streets!” Some drew slogans in chalk on the street: “Arrest Cheney,” and “Another world is possible.”