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National Guard called in to confront protesters in St. Paul

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Police and protestors are clashing in downtown St. Paul now following a large peaceful rally. There was vandalism by a small spinter group during the march which started shortly after 1 p.m.  A protester tore off a street sign and slung it into a Macy's store, breaking two windows. Then another protester or protesters jumped on a police car and broke out the windows.

The National Guard has been called in. (You can see it on video shot by The Uptake which has video crews all over the city.) The National Guard and police are wearing riot gear with gas masks. There has been a small, but loud, explosion from what is believed to be a gas canister.

Other protesters were dancing in the streets when they were sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray.

Many marchers have been prevented from crossing a bridge in St. Paul that would take them to a Labor Day gathering organized by Minnesota's unions.

According to a military family member, the National Guard unit put on standy-by for the RNC has been home for one year, and took part in skirmishes in Falujah.

Go to The Uptake. http://qik.com/theuptake

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It's early and it's happening right now so it is unknown the extent of vandalism or whether it can be called actual violence that took place.

The vast majority of protesters which come from a wide range of demographics focusing on divergent issues have been peaceful.

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Kathlyn Stone is a Minnesota-based writer covering science and medicine, health care and related policies.-She publishes www.fleshandstone.net, a health and science news site.

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