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15 Arrests so Far in St. Paul

Police have so far made 15 arrests related to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul — six in raids on Friday and Saturday.

Those raids turned up buckets of urine, wrist rockets, axes, metal pipes and other items that could be used in demonstrations, but some protest groups have criticized the police for also preventing anyone from recording the incident.

The National Lawyers Guild and Communities United Against Police Brutality filed a motion Saturday in Hennepin District Court asking a judge to prohibit officers from confiscating video cameras and cell phones.

So far today, police have not arrested anyone, said Holli Drinkwine, a spokeswoman for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.

During the searches, police arrested six people, ranging from 21 to 26 years old — and charged them with probable cause for conspiracy to riot, conspiracy to commit civil disorder and conspiracy to damage property.

The remaining nine arrests were for trespassing and all occurred on Sunday.

However, thousands of protesters have already begun to march on the Xcel Energy Center — many more than at last week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. Protests were infrequent and small near Denver’s Pepsi Center, where security barriers prevented demonstrators from getting close to the convention.

Protesters in St. Paul are already up in arms about this weekend’s searches. Police officials say the searches were part of an ongoing investigation of the RNC Welcoming Committee, a self-described anarchist group that police say are planning criminal acts.

“These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers. They have recruited assistance in their criminal conspiracy from other anarchists groups throughout the country,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said in a statement. “Through their plans and actions they have exhibited a blatant disregard for the law and the safety of others.”