Police Confront Protestors Outside Xcel Center

Thousands of antiwar protestors marched through the streets of St. Paul this afternoon. For the most part the protests were peaceful. On occasion, would-be anarchists dressed in black clashed with police dressed in riot gear.

According to the ABC News, the police estimated the crowd at about 8,000 to 10,000 protestors, and reported some 13 arrests.

In at least one incident, police used pepper spray to keep hostile protestors at bay.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting this afternoon that the police have called in the National Guard to help quell the sporadic outbursts of vandalism.

Just after 3 p.m. the Media Mob ventured out of the Xcel center and into the midst of the protestors. On the grassy hill outside the state capitol building, a diverse group of protestors — 9/11 conspiracy theorists, labor activists, marching bands — lounged in the shade of some large trees, trying to avoid the brutal afternoon sun.

One man held a sign reading, "Start Seeing Iraqi Children." A college student strolled by wearing a "Bomb the World to Pieces, But We Can’t bomb it into peace." Nearby, two men in masks (one as John McCain, and one as President George Bush) danced on the hot sidewalk, rapping some lyrics to a Cypress Hill parody "Insane in the membrane, Insane in the McCain brain."

The guy in the McCain mask wore a fake gold chain around his neck, and waved a sign, "100 years in Iraq!" Police Confront Protestors Outside Xcel Center