Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies found weapons and devices to disable buses among other items in searches in the Twin Cities last night and today. Authorities said the items came from “key members of the RNC Welcoming Committee,” a self-described anarchist group.
Five people have been arrested and four properties have been searched, according to the sheriff’s office.
“The ‘Welcoming Committee’ is a criminal enterprise made up of 35 anarchists who are intent on committing before and during the Republican National Convention,” said Sheriff Bob Fletcher in a statement. “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. Through their plans and actions they have exhibited a blatant disregard for the law and the safety of others.”
- The statement said the items found in the searches included:
Materials to create “sleeping dragons” (PVC pipe, chicken wire, duct tape), which is when protesters lock themselves together
- Large amounts of urine, including three to five gallon buckets of urin
- A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives
- a gas mask and filter
- Empty glass bottles
- Flammable liquids
- Homemade caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads)Metal pipes
- Bolt cutters
- Sledge hammers
- Rapelling equipment
- Kryptonite locks
- Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields
- Material for protective padding
- An Army helmet.