Republican National Convention
Thursday, August 03, 2000

Tensions ease between police and protesters




Los Angeles Times

        PHILADELPHIA — A day after a running battle between police and protesters gridlocked this city's downtown streets, both sides took steps Wednesday to keep the calm during the third day of the Republican National Convention.

        Protesters staged orderly marches and held a peaceful rally in a park across the street from the city jail, where more than 350 demonstrators arrested Tuesday were being held, mostly on misdemeanor charges. Only a handful of arrests were reported Wednesday.

        Throughout the day, officers questioned several activists about Tuesday's mass disobedience.

        Seventeen officers were reported hurt in Tuesday's demonstrations. The bulk of the injuries were minor, however, although one officer remained hospitalized after being hit in the head with a police bicycle.

        At a news conference, Police Commissioner John Timoney offered assurances that the “Philadelphia Police Department is in control of the operation. Make no mistake about it; we won't tolerate any violence.”

        Protesters also complained of casualties — including a broken wrist, a broken thumb and many other injuries.

        Organizers expressed dismay over reports that police officers had been attacked by scattered bands of demonstrators. “Because we are dedicated to nonviolence, we are really concerned when any human being does violence to another human being,” said Matt Ruben, a spokesman for a coalition of protest groups.

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- Tensions ease between police and protesters