Confrontation between police and protesters in downtown St. Paul
Report by Matt Snyders via phone
In the aftermath of the canceled Rage Against the Machine show, police clashed with protesters in St. Paul again -- with media and the general public caught in the middle. To try to clear out a crowded downtown, police created barricades and used smoke bombs in addition to tear gas.
At the corner of Wabasha and 7th, there are now two City of St. Paul dump trucks filled with sand creating a blockade. There are riot police blocking streets to the south and to the east. Two other dump trucks are apparently blocking an intersection at 10th and Wabasha.
There is currently a buffer zone between the corner of Wabasha and 7th and the corner of St. Peter and 7th St. near Mickey's Diner. In that buffer zone, there are two ambulances, an SUV and a white van. Police are also blocking 10th St. in both directions.
At about 7:55, advancing police began creating the buffer zone. Police told demonstrators, media and onlookers to move back. At 8:15, they started blocking off the way south. At 8:25, there were a few small explosions, and plumes of smoke began to rise. Some bombs went off, and we got the hint of tear gas on the air.
Demonstrators were chanting "We want peace, we want peace," before the gas went off.