Protesters vs. Police: The players at the RNC protests

A protester is hosed down with pepper spray after failing to adhere to police requests to back away on Kellogg Ave in St. Paul on Monday afternoon.

Steve Maturen

A protester is hosed down with pepper spray after failing to adhere to police requests to back away on Kellogg Ave in St. Paul on Monday afternoon.

While much of the nationâÄôs attention is focused inside the Xcel Energy Center at the scheduled events of the Republican National Convention, most of the unscripted action will occur outside the arena, as demonstrators take to the streets. Facing off all week outside the no-go perimeter of the Xcel will be an estimated 50,000 protesters mobilized by a handful of different groups, as well as around 3,500 law enforcement officers drawn from departments and agencies across the country. Many of these groups have different tactics, goals and motivations. HereâÄôs a look at some âÄî the protesters and the law enforcement: [Protesters] Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War The protesters: Contingents of students, immigrants and anti-capitalists ; endorsed by about 125 activist groups . The protest: Organized MondayâÄôs march, the main protest event against the RNC; organizers promised a safe and legal march. The mission: They hope to âÄútake to the streets of St. Paul to raise [their] voices against the war and the occupation of Iraq,âÄù according to their statement of purpose. RNC Welcoming Committee The protesters: The heirs of anarchists who shut down the World Trade Organization convention in Seattle in 1999, they scorn the corporate media and bureaucratic process of applying for protest permits . The protest: A focus on shutting down the convention by using civil disobedience; many radical activists traveled here to protest. The mission: Their 2008 call to action, endorsed by 40 leftist and anarchist groups nationwide, portrayed the convention as a âÄúpurely ceremonial showâÄù and vowed to meet âÄúRepublican fear-mongers,âÄù with their own biggest fear: âÄúpeople mobilized, organized and taking the future back.âÄù News: Over the weekend the activist center the group set up in St. Paul was raided by law enforcement and temporarily closed down. Some committee activists were arrested and others had houses raided Saturday , spurring complaints of police repression from activists. Anti-War Committee The protesters: A local anti-war organization that has actively opposed military interventions since 1998, according to its website. The protest: Although the group has endorsed other main protests of the week, theyâÄôre planning a march from the state Capitol to the Xcel Center on Thursday, during the time John McCain is scheduled to speak. The mission: TheyâÄôve taught workshops on nonviolent civil disobedience, which they have said the march Thursday might include. Poor PeopleâÄôs Economic Human Rights Campaign The protesters: A national campaign seeking to bring attention to economic issues and the plight of the poor. The protest: The main sponsors of a march planned for Tuesday. The mission: The campaign attempted to organize tent cities of homeless people, labeled âÄúBushvilles,âÄù to bring attention to housing issues. The first tent city at Harriet Island was broken up by police on Thursday. Since then, the campaign says theyâÄôve relocated their tents to the rotunda of the state Capitol. Victory Over Terrorism The protesters: Organized by GOP activist Joe Repya . The protest: Repya plans to distribute 3,000 signs for participants who plan to line the sidewalks around the Xcel Energy Center to show support for the war. The mission: To balance out leftist anti-Republican demonstrations. [Law Enforcement] St. Paul Police Department Its role: St. Paul police will mobilize 3,500-plus officers, at least a third of whom will be dedicated to crowd control . The help: St. Paul Assistant police Chief Matt Bostrom , is heading up St. PaulâÄôs contribution to the policing effort. Security, however, is being coordinated by the Secret Service . The department has signed joint-powers agreements with dozens of other law enforcement departments from as far away as Mesa, Ariz., according to media reports. The funding: A $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will cover the costs of overtime pay, as well as new equipment and nonlethal weaponry. Ramsey County SheriffâÄôs Department Its role: The Ramsey County SheriffâÄôs Department played the central role in five raids on activist houses and spaces in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the days before the start of the RNC. The help: Sheriff Bob Fletcher has been critical of St. Paul police tactics, saying they were âÄúunderestimating the ability of anarchists to cause mayhem .âÄù Federal Bureau of Investigation Its role: The FBI has set up an Intelligence Operations Center in an undisclosed location outside St. Paul where they will analyze incoming information about possible threats, including domestic dissenters, according to statements made by special agent Ralph Boelter . They also made attempts to infiltrate protest groups using informants, according to a May article in the City Pages.