Anarchists ignite violent protest
Protesters attacked delegates, smashed windows, punctured car tires and threw bottles Monday, a violent counterpoint to an otherwise peaceful anti-war march at the Republican National Convention. Police wielding pepper spray arrested at least 56 people.
The trouble happened not far from the Xcel Energy Center convention site, and many of those involved in the more violent protest were clad in black and identified themselves to reporters as anarchists. They wrought havoc by damaging property and setting at least one fire. Most of the trouble was in pockets of a neighborhood near downtown, several blocks from where the convention was taking place.
Police estimates of the crowd shifted several times during the event, ranging from 2,000 to 10,000. The crowd was clearly in the thousands. Late Monday afternoon, long after the anti-war marchers had dispersed, police requested and got 150 Minnesota National Guard soldiers to help control splinter groups near downtown.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain raised at least $47 million in August, his biggest haul of money so far and a sign that he is dispelling doubts about his campaign among conservative donors.
One official said the campaign had raised $10 million since McCain announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate Friday. Palin has emerged as a popular vice presidential candidate among social conservatives who have eyed McCain with suspicion.
Another official said that the Republican Party and the campaign will have between $224 million and $240 million available next week going into the fall campaign. That amount would include the $85 million in public funds that McCain will receive after he officially becomes the Republican nominee Thursday.
At a political convention with no politics on the agenda, what's a delegate to do? Apparently, take pictures of celebrities and trade political buttons.
Delegates spent most of the first evening of the Republican National Convention Monday swapping political pins and celebrity sightings, after the schedule for the first night of the convention was scrapped because of Hurricane Gustav.