World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Biotechnology protestors fight police in Minnesota

Forwarded By Fightback! Waikato

Biotechnology protestors fight police hand to hand on streets of Minnesota

Police, Protesters Clash In Minneapolis (The Spirit of Seattle spreads to the MidWest)

MINNEAPOLIS, Updated 8:48 a.m. CDT July 25, 2000 -- Protests against an animal genetic engineering convention in Minneapolis turned violent Monday afternoon as demonstrators and police clashed, WCCO-TV reported.

Armed with batons and pepper spray and dressed in riot gear, police attempted to control almost 200 activists at the intersection of 15th Street and Spruce Avenue and at 14th and Willow Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson said that 80 demonstrators were eventually arrested after an hour-long confrontation.

WCCO-TV reported that protesters rushed the police in order to escape attempts to block them in at Loring Park and prevent them from marching to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where the conference is being held. Several marchers broke through a police line near Willow Avenue and 14th Street, and a scuffle ensued.

Riot police moved in quickly and tried to push the protesters back.

"I was trying to get the issue of the conference out and a few people in the group decided that they were gonna rush the line of cops," an unidentified protester said. "I don't understand why people decided to follow them."

Some officers used rubber bean-bag projectiles to subdue the protests and police reported that some demonstrators hurled rocks.

After surrounding some protesters on 12th Street between Nicollet and LaSalle, police began to make arrests. With each arrest, they tightened the circle around the demonstrators. At least 50 protesters were arrested at that location. Those arrested were searched and lead to Metro Transit buses to be taken to jail.

Olson said that police gave demonstrators several opportunities not to be arrested, and they tried to be gentle. He said that no one who was arrested reported any injuries. However, some protesters said that officers were too violent, WCCO-TV reported.

Most of those arrested face charges of unlawful assembly, while at least one has been charged with assault on a police horse. Most of those arrested are from Minnesota and about two-thirds are men, WCCO-TV reported.

Police outnumbered the protesters by about four to one.

Afterward, Olson said that he was pleased with how officers handled the situation. "After what I saw last night and what I saw today, I am very thankful that we had the level of police officers working today that we had. If we hadn't, this could have gotten even farther out of hand," Olson said. "I had hoped that things would have been peaceful today, we could have ratcheted down… that didn't happen."

Residents who lived in the area where police and protesters clashed had mixed reactions to the confrontation. Many were forced to get around streets that were blocked.

"The protesters have a very good point and a very good right to be here, but they don't have a right to be belligerent to police officers, which I've seen today," downtown resident Liz Neerland said. "I don't think the protesters were violent, I don't think the police were violent," resident Dale Benson said.

In related news, police also found suspicious canisters in three areas around Minneapolis, one of which contained cyanide and resulted in the evacuation of a McDonald's. (Related Story)

The protesters had gathered against the work being done at the International Society for Animal Genetics conference at the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency.

They had asked interested parties to gather at Peavey Plaza at 11 a.m.

The protesters were denied a permit to march downtown.

The five-day conference of approximately 600 international scientists and researchers is being held to discuss animal genetics andresearch. It is being sponsored by the University of Minnesota and will run through Wednesday.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>