The Big Story Blog

Iowa: 10 'Occupy' protesters arrested at Bachmann headquarters

Posted at 4:44 PM on December 31, 2011 by Emily Kaiser
Filed under: Iowa

We just got this from MPR news reporter Mark Zdechlik, who's in Iowa covering the caucuses:

Police in suburban Des Moines arrested 10 people outside Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's Iowa presidential campaign headquarters on Saturday afternoon during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. There were eight adults and two juveniles arrested, according to Urbandale police.

Police told demonstrators their presence in a strip mall parking lot constituted trespassing and they followed through on their threat to arrest people who refused to retreat to public sidewalks.

Among those taken into custody was a man who identified himself to reporters as Brian Hynes of Bronx, New York, as he was being escorted to a squad car.

"This is ridiculous," Hynes said. "This is a public mall. This [is a] public place, open for business during business hours and you have no right to make this arrest."

Protesters were also arrested at other GOP campaign offices. Urbandale police said they arrested five people at Newt Gingrich's office and three at Rick Santorum's headquarters.

Addressing campaign volunteers and reporters inside her Iowa campaign headquarters, Bachmann dismissed the protesters as tools of the Obama administration.

On the subject of her campaign, Bachmann had little patience for reporters' questions about whether she would stay in the race regardless of how she finishes in Iowa.

"Does anybody else have a question?" asked Bachmann. "Honestly these questions are ridiculous. I'm here to be the next president of the United States."

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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