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July 20, 2013

Sit-in demonstration in Florida Capitol enters fifth day

Despite steady rain, three dozen people showed up outside the Florida Capitol on Saturday to show support for the Dream Defenders, a group of young activists who continued their five-day long occupation of Gov. Rick Scott's office.

The Dream Defenders must remain in the Capitol, which is closed for the weekend. If they leave, they are not allowed back inside until Monday morning.

All was quiet on Saturday afternoon -- until the group formed outside of the locked glass doors and broke out into song.

"We who believe in freedom cannot rest. We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it's won."

The Dream Defenders inside rushed over to the glass doors. They linked arms and began singing.

Almost simultaneously, the two groups bowed their heads in prayer.

"It's powerful to know we have this kind of support," said Regina Joseph, a 19-year-old student at Florida State who was inside.

The Dream Defenders say they will remain at the Capitol until Scott calls a special session. They are pushing for a Trayvon Martin Civil Rights act, which would address the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law, racial profiling and what the Dream Defenders call the school-to-prison pipeline in Florida.

The group is prepared for the weekend. They have received donations of pillows and blankets, fresh fruits and vegetables, granola bars, bottled water, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, hand sanitizer and deodorant.