By Ken Thomas, The Associated Press
MIAMI -- There was little sign that a major demonstration had rumbled
through the downtown by daylight Friday. Streets devoid of protesters
had been swept clean, spray-painted graffiti had been covered with
white paint, and a smaller police force was on the streets.
"Of course, people were scared, but the city was prepared," office
concierge Heriberto Cepero said while sweeping his sidewalk.
A total of 143 demonstrators were arrested Thursday, and 20 people
were taken to the hospital for treatment, including three police
"As the level of confrontation escalated, so did the level of
presence by our police officers," police spokesman Jorge Pino said.
After Thursday's march ended, several dozen protesters returned to
the streets to clash with officers, challenging police lines and
throwing water bottles, colored flares and rocks at officers.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators after
they set trash fires and launched projectiles from slingshots.
Officers set up a perimeter, marching toward demonstrators in waves
and firing more rubber bullets to force them back. Some protesters
tore down street signs and vandalized cars.
Protester Brice Smith, 27, of Washington, D.C., said he was hit with
rubber bullet on his right side below his ribs.
"All I had was a peace sign in the air and they shot me in the
stomach," Smith said.
Several others said they were also struck by rubber bullets in the
head and chest. It was not immediately known how many people were
injured. Some journalists were among the hurt.