LIVEBLOG: McCain Speaks to RNC, As Protesters Claim 150 Arrested

As NowPublic member Mikasi reporter earlier here, protesters were engaged in clashes with riot police in St Paul, outside of the Republican National Convention, where John McCain spoke this evening.

Current reports indicate that between 100 and 150 people have been arrested on the Marion Bridge. 

07:52pm EST – McCain criticizes war

marathonali: #rnc08 McCain says “war is terrible beyond imagination” yet he wants to continue the war in Iraq. less than 10 seconds ago · Reply · View Tweet

But the appluase seems to be fading and audience seems fatigued:

bitb: Applause fatigue. #rnc08 less than 20 seconds ago · Reply · View Tweet

07:50pm EST – Is the crowd maintaining its attention on McCain’s speech?

EAS211: There are a lot of yawns throughout the crowd at #rnc08 half a minute ago · Reply · View Tweet

07:47pm EST –

Nafsllib: #RNC08 McCain just said himself that Obama’s energy plan is more ambitius plan then his own, but we American’s can’t accomplish it. half a minute ago · Reply · View Tweet

07:45pm EST – C-Span is providing Twitter coverage of the RNC here: http://rnc08.c-span.org/?page_id=338

McCain proposes plan to continue domestic and off-shore drilling and produce more oil.

07:42pm EST – McCain’s speech continues to be criticized:

LizPW: Wow. McCain is a horrible orator #rnc08. What the hell is he talking about?  Reply · View Tweet

Meanwhile, Twitter posts claim Fox News crew was teared gassed outside, during the protests:

duckstrap: #RNC08 Fox news crew gassed: http://tinyurl.com/6z6q7v (expand) less than 20 seconds ago · Reply · View Tweet

07:39pm EST – McCain’s speech is criticized for being “tired” and “boring”:

BostonPhoenix: Bad speech. Seems tired. Like he’s retiring. #rnc08 less than 20 seconds ago · Reply · View Tweet

marathonali: #rnc08 Gosh, McCain is dull. Who wrote this boring-@ss speech? half a minute ago · Reply · View Tweet

07:35pm EST – Is McCain being thrown off by all of the interruptions?

alexashrugged: McCain is getting ticked at all the interruptions in his speech – they’re ruining his momentum and tone #RNC08 less than 20 seconds ago · Reply · View Tweet

07:25pm EST – McCain introduces and gives kudos to Sarah Palin. Wild applause from everyone gathered, standing ovation.

Hecklers were apparently from anti-war group Code Pink.

07:24pm EST – McCain: “Please don’t be diverted by the ground noise and the static.” As ‘hecklers’ are escorted out of the building.

jmansour: #rnc08 code pink protesters making a scene right in front of our seats. They’re dragged out yelling and screaming. less than 20 seconds ago · Reply · View Tweet

Chants of “U-S-A” keep drowning out McCain. Problems with the green screen behind McCain.

07:10pm EST –

otq i want to say one more time. The police told protesters they could march. Then cornered them on the bridge. It was a direct lie. less than 20 seconds ago from web

Meanwhile, inside the RNC, the McCain promo video is rolling…

06:58pm EST –

Police arrest 150 on Marion Street Bridge, detain another 20 to 30 near Sears. http://is.gd/2egT #RNC08

half a minute ago from twhirl

06:53pm EST – “Lies and Confinement”

noneck @Mlsif this was non-violent protest and has since turned into a mixture of lies and confinement. many cameras. many qik.com videos 2 minutes ago from twitterrific in reply to Mlsif

06:47pm EST – Further Arrests, Live Video streams available at http://wcco.com and http://theuptake.org

randomdeanna: rt @JasonBarnett @PiPress reporters: Everyone on Marion Bridge being arrested, on the order of 150 to 200 people. #RNC08 2 minutes ago · Reply · View Tweet

i didn’t see safe messages from everyone, so i assume some twitters are face down on the bridge right now being sent to jail half a minute ago from web

06:45pm EST – Arrests Being Made

reporter says 150 more being arrested. less than a minute ago from web

100+ people on marion bridge detained, plastic handcuffed face down 4 minutes ago from web

malbiniak: from what i can see, the cop to protester ratio at sears is about 75:1 #rnc08 1 minute ago · Reply · View Tweet

wcco.com is going to have raw video of the flash bangs and tear gas 1 minute ago from web

In response to the arrest of Democracy Now host Amy Goodman and other reporters earlier this week, the YouTube clip featuring her arrest has already been viewed an incredible 508,000 times. It will be interesting to see what the response to (and fallout from) today’s arrests will be:

[A] 49-second YouTube video showing the arrest of one of the four — “Democracy Now!” host/King Features Syndicate columnist Amy Goodman — has received more than 508,000 views.

In a statement released this afternoon, the NAHJ called on “police and local and federal officials to respect the First Amendment right to free speech and free press of journalists doing their job, especially as it relates to coverage of recent political conventions and the surrounding public protests. Reporters have a duty and a constitutional right to be present at sometimes volatile events and situations, and to inform the public.”

The NAHJ noted that an ABC News producer had been arrested at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week, and that the four journalists arrested Monday also included an Associated Press photographer (Matt Rourke) as well as two “Democracy Now!” producers (Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar) Goodman was trying to help. They were released with charges that included suspicion of felony riot and misdemeanor interference with a police officer.

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