published Friday, October 28th, 2011

Arrests made at Wall Street protest in Nashville

State Police arrest Occupy Nashville protestors early Friday morning Oct. 28, 2011 at the site where a few dozen Wall Street protesters have been encamped for about three weeks. Authorities began moving in early Friday using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents. (AP Photo/JOHN PARTIPILO\THE TENNESSEAN)
State Police arrest Occupy Nashville protestors early Friday morning Oct. 28, 2011 at the site where a few dozen Wall Street protesters have been encamped for about three weeks. Authorities began moving in early Friday using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents. (AP Photo/JOHN PARTIPILO\THE TENNESSEAN)
Photo by Associated Press.

LUCAS L. JOHNSON II, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities in Tennessee made about 30 arrests early Friday at the site where a few dozen Wall Street protesters have been encamped for about three weeks in Nashville, protesters said.

Authorities began moving in a little after 3 a.m. using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents.

The state's new rules specifically ban "overnight occupancy" at the public space and require permits and use fees for rallies.

Katy Savage, one of the protesters, said she peeked out of her tent around 3 a.m. saw that the camp was surrounded by state troopers.

"I was grabbing our stuff to try to get it off the area," she said.

Savage said people who had already decided they would get arrested sat down together and began singing "We Shall Overcome" as troopers dragged some of them to waiting buses.

About 20 protesters, who remained on a sidewalk, were not arrested and were still there later in the morning. Several state troopers stood guard at the steps to the Capitol.

Asked about the arrests, Savage said she was "disgusted and disappointed."

"This was a group of brilliant, wonderful people that I had come to know as family, practicing democratic decision-making on public space. And for that they were dragged away in handcuffs," Savage said.

Occupy Wall Street activists have set up camps in cities around the country to protest economic inequality and what they call corporate greed.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott would not give details about the arrests, saying only that authorities were there "to enforce the general services policy for the plaza and the Capitol area."

State officials planned to hold a news conference later in the morning to discuss the arrests.

Protester Albert Rankin said Thursday that the group intended to face arrests with "no hostility whatsoever" to avoid a repeat of violent shutdowns of protests in other cities this week. In Oakland, Calif., an Iraq war veteran suffered a fractured skull in a scuffle with police, and Atlanta SWAT teams arrested protesters there.

"There were some shouts here and there, but for the most part, it was very peaceful," Rankin said of Friday's arrests in Nashville.

Police last removed protesters from the legislative office complex in March during discussions of anti-union bills. Seven were arrested for disrupting a Senate Commerce Committee meeting and resisting arrest but later acquitted.

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acerigger said...

"an Iraq war veteran suffered a fractured skull in a scuffle with police"

There was no "scuffle",the man was standing quietly and was shot in the head at point blank range by some type of police projectile! The video of the assault is on-line.

At least the police in Nashville seem to have conducted themselves professionally.

October 28, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

As a veteran military officer of the state of Tennessee, I personally and professionally expect protesters to be allowed to voice their concerns 24 hours a day throughout the entire state.

I find this news of legal changes which would require the removal of the protesters to be disgusting, weak, and indicative of poor professional and ethical standards on the part of our lawmakers.

I suggest an immediate repeal and reform of those park regulations. Trying to silence opposition only makes multimillionaire lawyers who are career politicos look that much more paid off. It's bad public policy and it's bad politics.

Let our citizens protest in the parks. It's the right thing to do. It's far superior to trespass. Without constant protest in a park, where will our citizens stage their constant protest? Their concerns do not evaporate with the passing light of day turning into night. As their concerns are constant, so also should be our tolerance of their use of public lands to voice their objections and ideas.

Would we turn away a solution if it was voiced in the park at 3 a.m.? I hope not.

Businesses and legislatures brought these protests on themselves. We just began suffering through the price to be paid for 30+ years of legally sanctioned fraud. Trying to outlaw the idea that the protesters will be present in a park is a weak, lame, and unethical approach to the real problem: fraud.

We encourage our state's officers and legislators to do what's right: immediately enact and enforce substantive financial reform laws. Prosecute CEOs and criminal traders. Do not give them multi-million dollar bonuses and no jail time.

Do not let voters get thrown out of their homes so that politicians can collect fatkat payoffs at private clubs and resort retreats.

Allow these citizens to protest in the parks. It's the right thing to do.

October 28, 2011 at 8:41 a.m.
librul said...

What crap. If Lucas Johnson, II wants to elevate himself to the status of "journalist" from his present station as a third-rate AP stringer, he needs to pay a bit more attention to the facts.

Funny, somehow the concept of American citizens (i.e. the public) being attacked and arrested by para-military police for exercising their First Ammendment right of non-violent assembly in public spaces on American soil is not a concern of the whackjobs from the Tea Party who were unmolested by police when they carried guns onto those same spaces shouting slurs against our president, spitting on our government representatives and talking about fellow citizens of other religions and ethnicities as though they were invaders from another planet.

A Marine veteran of two tours in Iraq comes home to exercise the rights he risked his life for and Oakland pigs nearly killed him.

A fellow Marine posted this yesterday: "You Shot My Brother. I see this young man and I picture the men and women that stood beside me during my time in, and the men and women that stand in those places today. I know what (Olsen) went through to become a Marine, what he ate for breakfast most days and how long he was able to talk to his parents with his $10 phone card in a shack in Iraq. He is my brother." - Marine Jay C Gentile.

"Make non-violent revolution impossible, and you make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK

October 28, 2011 at 9:01 a.m.
TinaFrench said...

Just read where a Nashville judge refused to issue warrants for the OWS protesters arrested at 0300 hrs on 10/28.

October 28, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
btn128 said...

Wow, I dont know why I surprised. They passed the curfew Thursday afternoon and said they would not enfore it until Friday since they would not have time to get the necessary permits to be there. Then they wait till 3 am and arrest them. And then people wonder why the public has trust issues with politicians and police officers.

October 28, 2011 at 9:51 a.m.

Nashville had to clean up the trash eventually. The longer they waited the more it would stink. Quit your whining and go support yourself, instead of sucking on the government teat. We wouldn't have this problem if we only allowed taxpayers to vote.

October 28, 2011 at 10:47 a.m.
acerigger said...

Golly gee Cleveland_Steamer, I bet you consider yourself to be a "Real American" huh? Pathetic.

October 28, 2011 at 11 a.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

328Kwebsite said... As a veteran military officer of the state of Tennessee, I personally and professionally expect protesters to be allowed to voice their concerns 24 hours a day throughout the entire state. I find this news of legal changes which would require the removal of the protesters to be disgusting, weak, and indicative of poor professional and ethical standards on the part of our lawmakers

America only supports protesters when they're protesting oppression in Iran, Syria, Lybia and other oil rich countries. Even during the height of Lybia's protesting many of the military sent in refused to cooperate with the government in the crackdown against protesters. Only America LE and Nazi Germany regime follow orders and follow them well and beyond the extent necessary. They love the chance to crack heads then claim they were just following orders.

This looks especially disturbing around the world and in other countries since America has an African-American president in office. Someone representing the face of a once severely oppressed people throughout the history of America and rising to the very top of America's power and leadership. Someone who is suppose to represent what a free and democratic and humane nation is suppose to truly represent.

October 28, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.
yaffay said...

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin (1759)

It is easy to arrest people in the name of public safety. It is more difficult to stand your ground to preserve liberty.

October 28, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

Freedom of assembly and to voice opinion - where did I read that? So much for liberty and freedom in America.

Maybe they will apply this rule to put a lid of Boehner's and Fleishmann's whining? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

October 28, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
obviousman said...

I don't agree or disagree with the protestors, simply because the occupiers are sending an inconsistent messages. The messages are not consistent across the US, or even within people within a single occupy group.

HOWEVER, the U.S. Constitution guarantee citizens the right to peacefully assemble and the right to freedom of speech.

The Courts have also held actions can be considered "speech" for purposes of First Amendment protection.

The courts have held that "political speech' deserves the most protection, reasoning that citizens should be able to seek redress for perceived wrongs committed by their government/elected officials.

Traditional locations, such as in front of court houses and other public buildings, are locations were people have a right to gather to speak.

So lets examine the circumstances surrounding the arrest/citations of the Occupy crowd in Nashville..

(1) Their message is political in natures, thus deserving 1st Amendment Protection. (2) They are protesting on public property next to the State Capital, which is a traditional venue. (3) They claim they will not be ignored by their elected officials, and to prove it they claim they will remain in, "occupy", a location as proof of how serious they are about their message. (4) They state they will occupy the area until the change they are seeking occurs.

So their speech and their actions of occupying a traditional political public location would seem to be protected. As such, I have to commend the magistrate who refused to find probable cause and hold them.

I also have to condemn those responsible for creating the "new rules" which were clearly done to disburse and weaken right of protestors to seek redress of their grievances. I also have to ask if they would have created the same new rules if a different organization seeking different changes has decided to camp in the same area?

Last night it was the Occupy Wallstreet Crowd. If this is allowed to stand than next week a new rule could be instituted prohibiting members of the Tea Party from holding a rally there expect during weekdays between 8 am and 9 am. Clearly such a restriction would weaken their message as the Occupy crowd has had their message weakened.

This is a slippery slope.... and whether you are from the Occupy crowd or the Tea Party, or somewhere in between, you should be shocked and offended.

October 28, 2011 at 2:33 p.m.
brokentoe said...

obviousman said... I don't agree or disagree with the protestors, simply because the occupiers are sending an inconsistent messages. The messages are not consistent across the US, or even within people within a single occupy group,

So has the Teap Partiers been inconsistent. Some have even shown up with their assault weapons and openly making threats against officials. None were arrested or cited to court, however. U.S. only support protesters in other countries the U.S. has a beef with. Or, the country must have some powerful natural resources the U.S. and Britain wants to gain control over.

October 28, 2011 at 4:41 p.m.
mhteg said...

Americans blame the federal government more for the nation's economic plight than they do the primary target of the Occupy Wall Street protests --- big financial institutions. If you don't know why people are protesting on wall street, this article gives a very good explanation on it.

http://explainlikeakid.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-people-are-protesting-on-wall.html

October 28, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.
McRand said...

Notice how there are few if any judges and politicians making public comments in support of these people exercising their blood bought rights. Even if they disagree with the protesters, they should at least publicly be defending their right to do so. Cowards come in all colors.

October 28, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.
McRand said...

Notice how there are few if any judges and politicians making public comments in support of these people exercising their blood bought rights. Even if they disagree with the protesters, they should at least publicly be defending their right to do so. It seems that paychecks and positions are more important than speaking in defense of truth and holding in check the oppressive powers aimed at it. Thank God the heroics of our founding Fathers were driven by men who did not fear to call tyranny by it's right name and were willing to sacrifice their lives for the Constitutional rights we have today. The right of the people to assemble and voice their concerns when things have gone out of balance enough to affect the quality of life for so many citizens was never to be something to be silenced, but encouraged in order to prevent tyranny to rise again. The right to assemble and protest is a part of the checking and balancing process; a freedom given to Americans to curtail and correct situations that arise from the powers that head the nation. They have a name for people that don't stand for these rights when they, and the people that seek to exercise them are being abused; they're called cowards.

October 28, 2011 at 6:17 p.m.
afhcarm said...

It appears that the rights to peacefully assemble and voice one's complaints do not apply if you are demonstrating against the money interests (including the tea partiers) that have put this nation in jeopardy. Hope the cops feel good about themselves.

October 28, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.
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