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Teen among caucus protesters arrested

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A dozen Occupy the Caucus protesters, including a teen, were arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, for blocking the state's Democratic Party headquarters, police said.

State Democratic Party officials said the protests were more confrontational Thursday than earlier in the week, The New York Times reported.

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Norm Sterzenbach, the Iowa Democratic Party executive director, said protesters were trampling on flower beds in front of the building and said they exhibited "threatening behavior" by barricading the doors.

"They moved this to a different level," Sterzenbach said, comparing it to an earlier protest that week.

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"I'm not going to have my people stuck in there," party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said, explaining she tried to reason with the protesters before police arrived.

Police arrested but did not detain 14-year-old Frankie Hughes, who held a sign saying she was "a child whose voice is not heard." Hughes told the Times she had been arrested several times before, including once at the state Capitol.

Organizers said demonstrators planned to rally in front of Republican candidates' offices Friday, focusing on corporate money in politics, the Des Moines Register reported.

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The Iowa caucuses are Tuesday.

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