Occupy Nashville Movement Still Strong

The Occupy Nashville Movement officially began on October 7, 2011, when a group of concerned citizens banded together at Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville, Tenn. Despite a reputation for being more peaceful than some of the other Occupy movements across the country, the protesters in Nashville dealt with arrests early on.

The Tennessean reported that the Tennessee Highway Patrol infiltrated the protests in October, sending undercover officers to investigate rumors of “illegal and lewd behavior.” Nearly 60 people were incarcerated after being ordered to evacuate Legislative Plaza, but since then a temporary restraining order from Federal Judge Aleta Trauger has prevented any further arrests. On November 10, Brandon Haghany of EMCnews3 reported that “public support has seemed to fall on the side of the protestors.”

The website occupynashville.org confirmed on November 14, 2011 that all charges against members of the movement were dropped. Supporters of the movement have touted this as a success. Though the site acknowledges Governor Bill Haslam’s role in dropping the charges, it offers no thanks, but does welcome him to come offer his support to Occupy Nashville.

The site lists three goals the Occupy Nashville protesters are united under: to remove money from politics; to end corporate personhood; and to support the Occupy Wall Street movement. It claims to be devoted to “defending Democracy from corporate money and corruption.”

A press release issued on November 18, 2011, by the same website announced that members of Occupy Nashville participated in the national “Day of Action” in honor of Occupy Wall Street’s two-month anniversary. Nashville protesters infiltrated a ballroom gala at the Downtown Hilton Hotel in Nashville on Thursday, November 17, where Donald Rumsfeld was giving a keynote address. The press release reported that protesters shouted, “I call upon you to surrender yourself as a war criminal!” at the former defense secretary while he was speaking. The movement has received over $2,000 from supporters. These funds helped the protestors afford the $125 per plate cost of attending the gala.

The group has plans for upcoming events at Legislative Plaza in support of various causes, including a “One Family, One Voice” rally in support of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. Updates on events and times can be found at http://www.occupynashville.org.

Despite many bumps in the road, the Occupy Nashville Movement appears to still be gaining momentum, along with public support. It will celebrate its two-month anniversary on December 7, 2011.






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