ST. PAUL, Minn. — Republican National Convention protesters targeted in a series of police raids Friday night and Saturday say they won't back down from their plans to march on the event's opening day.
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Organizers have said they hope to attract up to 50,000 people to the protest Monday.
Four people were arrested at two Minneapolis homes and booked on probable cause of conspiracy to commit a riot, said Gina Berglund, an attorney helping to represent protesters. There were no arrests at a third home targeted. Later, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said a fifth person was arrested at an undisclosed location.
"A lot of people in the activist community are really on pins and needles about who's next," Berglund said.
Protester Michelle Gross said a fourth home, this one in St. Paul, was being raided Saturday afternoon. Two people were outside the home in handcuffs while police awaited a search warrant, she said. St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh said a search warrant was being executed but could not confirm whether anyone had been arrested.
On Friday night, Ramsey County sheriff's deputies raided an organizing site of a group — the RNC Welcoming Committee — that has publicized plans to disrupt convention activities. No one was arrested.
"They will not crush our spirit," said protester Lisa Fithian from Austin, Texas, at a gathering of about 300 people in a Minneapolis park Saturday afternoon. "Our organization will continue. We will be on the streets."
The raids drew criticism from other than the targets.
Dave Thune, a St. Paul city councilman whose district includes the theater building used as a hub for the protesters, denounced the raid, saying people had a legal right to assemble there.
"We spent so much time trying to welcome people to the city and now this is the way we start out," he said. "It pretty much sucks."
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