RNC 8

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The RNC 8 are eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee who were arrested and charged with a felony under Minnesota terrorism law with "Conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism."[1][2][3]

On August 30, 2008, two days before the Republican National Convention was held, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department raided three homes and arrested five activists, Monica Bicking, Garrett Fitzgerald, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, and Eryn Trimmer.[4] Later that day, Luce Guillen-Givins was arrested leaving a public meeting at a park. The remaining two activists, Rob Czernik and Max Specktor, were arrested on September 1, the first day of the protests surrounding the RNC convention[citation needed].

The eight activists were originally charged under the Minnesota version of the USA PATRIOT Act with "conspiracy to riot in the second degree in furtherance of terrorism." On April 8, 2009, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner announced that the terrorism charges, which carried enhanced penalties, would be dropped. The eight co-defendants were charged with two felony counts: conspiracy to riot and conspiracy to commit property damage.[5]

Police alleged the eight planned to kidnap RNC delegates, assault officers and raid the Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has criticized the prosecution for relying too heavily on informants rather than physical evidence.[6]

On August 27, 2010, Erik Oseland accepted a plea deal with prosecutors. In court, he pleaded guilty and will serve 90 days in a county workhouse and pay a $100 fine on the condition that he will not be compelled to testify against the remaining seven members of the RNC 8 when they go to trial in October 2010.[7][8]

On September 16, 2010, Ramsey County prosecutors dismissed felony charges against three defendants — Monica Bicking, Luce Guillen-Givins, and Eryn Trimmer.[9] The RNC 8 case concluded on October 19, 2010, when the remaining four defendants accepted a gross misdemeanor plea agreement carrying no jail time.

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