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Protesters turn out for Obama's American Legion speech

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Protesters at American Legion Convention
More than a hundred protesters gathered across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center to demonstrate at President Barack Obama's appearance at the national American Legion convention on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.
MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

More than a hundred protesters gathered across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center to demonstrate at President Barack Obama's appearance at the national American Legion convention on  Tuesday. 

Many protesters were anti-war activists, opponents of US detentions at Guantanamo Bay and critics of FBI raids on activists' homes in Minneapolis and Chicago last year.

Bruce Berry of Minneapolis, who said he's a Vietnam War veteran and represents Veterans for Peace, said he wants the Obama administration to end U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Because President Obama is gonna be here to speak, this is a good time to take issue with it. And the mission of Veterans For Peace is to end wars. All wars," said Berry. 

Aaron Moy, of Eden Prairie, was not part of a group. He described himself as a conservative demonstrating against high unemployment and the stagnant economy. He said he holds Obama responsible.

"The enormous debt that keeps growing, and he's nothing, done nothing about it except make it grow faster," said Moy. He added that he hopes Obama will be defeated in the upcoming election.

The demonstrators cooperated with police orders throughout the morning and remained peaceful. Police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said he wasn't aware of any arrests associated with the protests.  

The annual American Legion convention lasts through Thursday. The main theme of this year's convention is the challenge for veterans in finding  jobs when they return from deployments.