More than 300 people were arrested Thursday, according to a booking officer in St. Paul. The arrests came after security forces closed bridges over Interstate 94 to prevent protesters who had assembled at the Capitol at 4 p.m. from marching to the Xcel at 5 p.m.
Between 40 and 70 arrests were made as the main body of protesters and police faced each other at 12th and Cedar. Twin Cities Daily Planet reporter Sheila Regan and a reporter from The Uptake were swept up along with a group of demonstrators near police lines. After about two hours of stand-off at John Ireland Street and then at 12th and Cedar, police charged into the crowd and seized a few people. Shortly thereafter, most of the demonstrators left.
One young man said that he and his friends were angered by the arrest of “demonstration leaders” when police charged into the crowd. He said that the group was turned back from another bridge and then went to University and Rice and blocked University Avenue. Then, he said, police used tear gas and concussion grenades and began making mass arrests, ordering people face-down on the ground.
Another young man waiting for friends at the Ramsey County detention center confirmed the account, saying that police had hundreds of people on a bridge, under detention.
By 10 p.m., not even the first arrestees had arrived at the detention center, and booking officers said that they were being processed “in the field.”