published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

7 protesters arrested in Nashville, including Chattanooga woman

NASHVILLE — Seven protestors, including a woman from Chattanooga, were dragged from a state Senate hearing today and arrested, authorities said.

The seven were each charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, said Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott.

Ash-Lee Henderson, who is affiliated with the group Chattanooga Organized for Action, was arrested today, according to her mother, Tamara Henderson.

Tennessee Highway Patrolmen began dragging protesters from a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this afternoon after they disrupted proceedings with chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, union busting has got to go.”

At least three dozen protesters interrupted as the panel prepared to hear several bills aimed at unions.

The committee chairman, Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, tried to order the protesters to stop and called sergeants at arms to no avail. Later, Highway Patrolmen came in and snatched fliers from the hands of a number of chanting protesters.

Soon after, patrolmen hauled off at least two handcuffed protesters to shouts of “shame, shame, shame” from other protesters.

In a statement, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said "this General Assembly will not be

intimidated by nomadic bands of professional agitators on spring break bent on disruption."

Today’s protest marked the latest attempt to draw attention to concern over a rash of bills, including one that would end collective bargaining for teachers and others aimed at all unions.

Earlier in the day, union leaders, teachers and their allies held a rally on top of the legislative plaza.

Dozens later went to the state Capitol in an effort to bring their concerns to Gov. Bill Haslam.

Most were blocked there and later came down inside the legislative plaza.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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ceeweed said...

THP has a union. Let's do away with their union as well as police and firemen. Wow, then we could cut their pay, their health insurance, and their retirement. Of course, we would have to lower the standards for new hires, but hey, it'll be great...

We can find some real dumbos to fill those jobs and to teach our kids. I'm giddy with excitement! It will really thrust Tennessee into the 21st century. Just think of the possibilities.

March 15, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
Salsa said...

They may have a union but I bet their their union has no bargaining rights just like local firefighters and police and they cannot go on strike so it really means nothing.

March 15, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.

A Unions are like a basket of rotten fish with a little perfume sprayed on it.

March 15, 2011 at 6:42 p.m.
ceeweed said...

How many channels you get up there in your lighthouse? Or is locked on fixed news?

March 15, 2011 at 9:43 p.m.
7Seventeen said...

The party of small government strikes again. Republicans never met a regulation they didn't love as long as it fits the conservative ideological theme.

Personally, I feel that management gets the unions they deserve. I just wish our government wouldn't crush trade unions just to boost corporate profits.

March 15, 2011 at 10:34 p.m.
harrystatel said...

State government thieves verses union thieves.

The longer both sides fight each other, the less damage they both do politically and financially to liberty.

Government and unions are two thieves both fighting over who gets more— the State who caused the problem to begin with by allowing unions and the unions who are unhappy with their take of the booty and want more.

The unions want more, not based on merit, but because they're a union. The State, unconcerned about education, wants the power to spend taxpayer money where it pads their pockets.

I respect teachers, not all of them, but most have a desire to teach and help. If they're smart enough to go to college, graduate, and get a job, let them negotiate their salary and working conditions. They're always free to say "no!"

Education is too important to be left to the likes of government and unions.

March 15, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.
acerigger said...

payingattention said...

Chattanooga Organized for action is a pack of idiots. March 15, 2011 at 11:20 p.m. Their leader is "jack". Sounds like you don't know "jack"!

March 15, 2011 at 11:52 p.m.
chrisbrooks said...

We at Chattanooga Organized for Action are incredibly proud of the courage, integrity, and leadership that was on display today by the "Music City Seven" - and especially our own Ash-Lee Henderson. I hope that the rest of our city, our county, and our state follows her leads and stands up and fights back against the current legislative attacks against workers, immigrants, the environment, and the LGBT community. If you would like to see video and pictures from the rally today or to find out more about Chattanooga Organized for Action please visit>

chattyjill said...

What did you tell your government today?!

March 16, 2011 at 12:04 a.m.
bpqd said...

Speaking of "nomadic bands of professional agitators bent on disruption," I was disappointed to see that PBS' News Hour was interrupted by GOP grandstanding with Governor Haslam's prime-time speech on WTCI. It's clear: they need to ensure that they do not interrupt quality news with their self-promotion on the channel for Tennesseans. Governor Haslam can make his commercials at 2:30 a.m., broadcast live.

It's no wonder we have protesters in the state Senate. The first thing the Governor did was avoid paying his own business' taxes. Almost immediately after taking office, the quality of intellectual support for legislation plummeted under Republican Governor Haslam's guidance.

The cost of higher education has more than tripled --tripled-- in the past ten years. Republican legislators bicker, whine and moan about paying for basic arts supplies and common teaching costs, like salaries. What, if anything, have we seen that resembles what right looks like, when it comes to educational improvements?

In Governor Haslam's speech, he said he wanted to see our state improve its ability to educate our youth. Where's the proof in the legislation? We have not seen any --any-- effort on the part of Republican legislators to even remotely confront and persuade all people, including other Republicans, to do anything --anything-- at all to pay for education.

That's right: pay for education. Raise taxes on corporations. Stop sheltering crony business buddies who use a lack of bribes in the form of tax breaks as an excuse for firing hundreds of workers at a time. Poor working conditions: take a recent ad for telemarketing which cites that employees may "stand up and stretch at their desk so long as it doesn't interfere with their work." What abject nonsense and disgusting treatment of our fellow citizens do we see, as policy, in many workplaces. No wonder people want to unionize. Look at what the rampant and extreme selfishness of the business class has done to our economy.

Business leaders had their chance. They wrecked this economy with their unbridled greed and sociopathic selfishness. It's no wonder that some workers want and need unions. They cannot count on the ethics in the workplace when we have all seen what's been provided as a substitute for leadership from business owners and managers.

Unions. It's the working class' answer to the excesses of Wall Street in times of trouble. With hundreds of workers laid off, and covered up, at a time over the past few years, it's no wonder that people have long since run out of patience with the likes of the Republican party's institutionalized selfishness.

March 16, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.
acerigger said...

bpqd, that's the BEST, most succinct rant I've read in a lonnng time! more like it please.

March 16, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
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