Tennessee Highway Patrol under the orders of Governor Bill Haslam have violated the rights of freedom of assembly and speech for two nights in a row. At 3:00 AM on Friday they arrested nearly 30 protesters with 100+ troopers, and dogs. These protesters were later released by the judge who refused to sign arrest warrants. On Friday night they raided once again, arresting 20 protesters including a reporter with the weekly Nashville Scene.
The State of Tennessee primarily the Tennessee General Services Commissioner with the Governor has after threatening to evict Occupy Nashville now setting up costly deterrences to their freedom. They are also imposing a curfew on the protesters of 10pm, and restricting the protest to 9AM to 4:00PM. By declaration of the Governor, the 1st Amendement shall now be suspended at 10pm, and available only by permit during daytime hours wherever the powers of the regime come together to establish rules. We the People need not apply...They have imposed on protesters at Occupy Nashville a $65 daily fee, and a requirement of holding liability insurance of over a million dollars. Occupy Nashville as a grassroots protest of citizens expressing their grievances does not have such resources. This is NOT a commercial event, it is NOT a incorporated nonprofit event, and it is not an recreational event. This is an encampment protest expressing grievances to the government, including the government of the State of Tennessee. The State of Tennessee is tryng to deter freedom, and imposing costs on the freedom of these protesters. Freedom of speech and assembly in a public taxpayer funded plaza should not have costs imposed on it.
The Tennessee General Services Commissioner has ordered the Occupy Nashville protesters to vacate Legislative Plaza at 8:00 PM CST tonight. Legislative Plaza is under the jurisdiction of the State of Tennessee as it is home to legislative offices, and committee rooms below the open plaza area. Governor Bill Haslam (R) will make the ultimate decision. Please visit http://occupynashville.org/ for more information.
Yesterday State Commissioner of General Services Steve Cates announced that Occupy Nashville will not be allowed to stay on Legislative Plaza during the night after 8pm tomorrow (Thursday, 10/27). The State may issue daily permits (conditions to be specified tomorrow morning) to stay from 9am to 4pm.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.