INDEPENDENT NEWS

Protesters Disrupt City but Not GOP Gathering

Published: Thu 3 Aug 2000 01:27 PM
PHILADELPHIA--Making good on a promise to bring chaos to the host city of the Republican National Convention, 2,000 protesters fanned out across downtown Tuesday, shutting down major intersections as delegates sought to travel from their hotels to the convention's evening session.
Police officials said at least 280 people were arrested and 20 patrol cars damaged during a roving series of street battles around City Hall. Three officers were injured. One suffered serious head injuries after being beaten, and two were taken to a hospital after being doused with some type of caustic liquid. Authorities did not release further information on their conditions.
At several downtown locations, police joined ranks to disperse crowds of demonstrators. Officers on horseback and on bicycles played a cat-and-mouse game with one group of 200 people who ran in and out of traffic along several city blocks.
"Our strength is chaos; we have nothing else," said Kehben Grister, 22.
Most delegates, however, managed to make it to the convention's evening session without incident.
"We were concerned about this happening," said police Lt. Susan Slawson. "The protesters came with the intent to shut down streets, to interfere with the RNC. They did not interfere with the RNC. We have sufficient resources to handle this."
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