Local Occupy Wall Street group sets Nashville demonstration

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 2:37pm
By Steven Hale

A newly formed arm of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement has planned a gathering at Nashville’s Legislative Plaza for noon on Thursday.

The group, Occupy Nashville, first appeared on Twitter and Facebook before holding a meeting last Sunday to organize and make plans for the demonstration as well as to discuss goals for the movement. For the time being, demonstrators will be sleeping at home, as no “occupation,” or overnight camp, is planned for Thursday.

The Occupy Wall Street protests, started Sept. 17 in New York’s financial district, have slowly garnered the attention of the national media, along with the support of figures such as Michael Moore, Cornel West and Noam Chomsky. They have also prompted hundreds of arrests and allegations of police misconduct.  

A press release posted on the Occupy Nashville website this week expressed support for the ongoing protests in New York, describing Occupy Wall Street as “a rapidly growing movement promoting the separation of corporations from our government.” The release went on to list some of the group’s primary complaints.

“Occupy Nashville believes that corporate greed has corrupted our government, and 99% of the households in America have been harmed as a result,” the release reads. “People have been crippled by job loss, exorbitant student debt, predatory home mortgages, and declining or stagnant wages in spite of increased worker productivity. Corporate takeover of government has ruined our standard of living and is threatening a thriving future. The only solution is to remove their hand from our government.”

At the meeting Sunday, the so-called General Assembly held at Fannie Mae Dees Park, about 150 or more people gathered to discuss various facets of the movement, including interaction with the media, legal strategy and political demands. There, members agreed upon primary goals — ending corporate personhood and the separation of corporations from government — and decided not to endorse any political candidate as a group. Leaders of the assembly also suggested reading material for those planning to engage in civil disobedience.

Toward that end, a post Wednesday on the Occupy Nashville website encouraged participants to read the Tennessee ACLU’s “Your Rights” brochure and offered advice on how to behave while protesting and in the event of an arrest.

“Please do your best to avoid getting arrested,” the post read. “You are needed out protesting, not in jail.”

In an email to The City Paper, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security communications director Jennifer Donnals said the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the division in charge of State Capitol security, is “aware of the protest plans and will accordingly staff the Legislative Plaza on Thursday.” She declined to comment further.

Occupy Nashville has also been spreading the word, via Twitter and Facebook, about a “roadside rally” to be held Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in front of Centennial Park. According to the group’s official Facebook page, the Nashville Peace Coalition planned the rally, called “Stop the Machine, Close Wall Street,” but it shares “pretty much the same goals as Occupy Nashville.”  

39 Comments on this post:

By: BigPapa on 10/5/11 at 12:43

So sad.. ""Look at us!! Look at us!! We're kinda mad too!"

By: T-BONE on 10/5/11 at 1:03

ABOUT TIME !!! ...Tired of living in a "FASCIST OLIGARCHY" !!!

By: BenDover on 10/5/11 at 1:09

lmao... damn hippie wannabes...

By: greystone on 10/5/11 at 1:39

Big Papa & Ben - as opposed to the people dressed in revolutionary garb?

By: tn.native on 10/5/11 at 1:49

Millions of people lost their homes by junk mortgages delivered by wall street with the knowledge that they knew exactly what they were doing. Until we get corporate money out of politics we will continue to move toward a state of the wealthy getting a bigger piece of the pie while the majority lose their ability to live with dignity. Just look at the childhood poverty numbers. We have a right to assemble to address the issues of inequality via a rigged system. This has been going on for a long time.

By: patrick551 on 10/5/11 at 2:09

This group is odd. They are protesting the very policies they voted for with Obama, whose campaign was fully supported and funded by Wall Street. Who gave the 99%'s money to banks and auto manufacturers. Has given the 99%'s money to non-existent 'green' companies that were fronts for Obama campaign donors. Did a hundreds of billion dollar 'stimulus' that increased unemployment and was a slush fund for union leaders and big business tycoons.

Now they are for bigger ever intrusive government, but protest police brutality!

The only people who will benefit from this trust fund babies movement are psychiatrists.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/5/11 at 2:11

Ben didn’t say that you were in DC for the Tea Parties demonstration? That was just fine then, but now that free thing people are doing the same it is wrong?

This must be a Tea Party double standard. ;-)

By: Funditto on 10/5/11 at 5:04

Ben, I'd rather be a hippie wannabe than a fat old tea bagger for Jesus


By: Shadow63 on 10/5/11 at 5:25

Get the dogs ready, service the water cannon and put the National Guard on alert; the communists are going after the job creators. Yeah, right.

By: StanishInquisition on 10/5/11 at 11:43

This is a national movement based on removing the influence of powerful moneyed-interests on federal, state, and local government. What the hell is wrong with that? Have you already forgotten the fraud that has put our u-6 unemployment level up to 20%? That's 1/5 people who are completely SCREWED. 1/3rd of Americans are one paycheck away from not being able to make a payment on their homes. Europe is in crisis, and things are constantly getting worse. And if you took a second to look at OccupyNashville.org you'd see that a lot of people involved in this are not Obama supporters, have jobs, and are not students, and are moderates.

And to put a cherry on top, ask yourselves why the original founder of the tea party supports protests against wall street. Wake up and join us at noon at legislative plaza or at rush hour by centennial. If you have a mind and a spine you'll be there.

By: BenDover on 10/6/11 at 5:29

Do you really think these large companies want to be beholden to the whims of 536 people and their minions in government? The problem isn't that business has injected its influence into government but quite the opposite, government has overstepped its influence over the market and business. Businesses have no choice but to play ball with these shake-down artists. It's legalized racketeering but business has been so demonized in the mind of the public that they don't even realize business is the host that their fat tick @$$es are suckling upon.

I hate cronyism as much as the next guy but giving the government more power over these businesses is going to make the problems worse not better. And the ironic thing is that the big businesses don’t care. They’ve got an army of accountants and lawyers to deal with all the red-tape and bureaucracy. They’ve got a team of lobbyists and the inherent clout to have their phone calls returned by the ever-more powerful congressman or senator. It’s mom and pop businesses that are harmed by increasing the influence of government over the private sector. The big guys just look at it as another favorable barrier to entry to their future competition.

Your cure is the cause and the sooner you grow up and realize this, eschew your naiveté, and get out of the way of private enterprise rather than handcuffing yourselves to the bulldozers; the sooner our country will get back to creating the value-added excesses upon which all our government and charity depend.

By: govskeptic on 10/6/11 at 5:44

Expect the same group rounded up by Nashville's "Peace and Justice
Center" to be in attendance. Yes, the SEIU members will be there during
their breaks along with many TEA members (past or present). This
organized protest might have merit and be somewhat affective if it
had one or two very clear points, problem is it doesn't! Too big to
fail by the banking system has gotten even worse under this Administration
with not one change or proposal on the table to prevent the same again!

By: WrdBrn on 10/6/11 at 6:05

‎"A government which represents only the interests of banks, media conglomerates, corporations and the richest 1% is no longer democracy. It is oligarchy." Derrick Kardo

‎"The corporation itself does not have the right to stand equally with the individual because with out the individual it cannot stand alone." - jwb

The Supreme Court's ruling in January of 2010 that a corporation's use of its money is the way it exercises free speech. This was the straw that flattened the proverbial camel.

And a reading of Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 is in order. EGTRRA's gave $600 dollars to many families and then fine print cost more than 50 employees with 25 or more years at the United Methodist Publishing House their jobs (that directly effected my household) - just to mention ONE locally affected business - with its Pension Reform Trojan Horse. EGTRRA was the beginning of the push for the Average Joe to manage his own money market via a 401K and hope his funds didnt bust before retirement!

The Protests of the mid and late 60's were viewed with the same disdain and yet they had a profound and lasting effect on the Civil Rights Movement and who we became as a nation.

This is what is driving the OccupyTogether Movement!

I am the 99%!

By: gdiafante on 10/6/11 at 6:20

I have to say, reading all the negative responses regarding Americans protesting Wall Street is troubling. This country is truly divided. I also find it hard to understand how some claim that they don't know what they're protesting.

I suppose there is a double standard going on. It's ok to have middle-aged, historically challenged citizens organize and protest government oppression but God forbid the youth of America, who can actually recognize that our government is in the pocket of Wall Street, protest Capitalism run amuck.

And is it really Capitalism when business runs the government?

All this hypocrisy. on both sides, just substantiates my belief that America is in serious decline. And, quite likely headed toward irrevocable division. Unless we can start to accentuate the things that we have in common instead of focusing on the divisions, we'll end up a third world country.

Who's to blame? Look in the mirror.

By: Loner on 10/6/11 at 6:29

Nashville is hardly a hub of international finance....copy-cat Wall Street demonstrations in Nashville? I don't get it...they should be protesting against Gibson guitar's scofflaw attitude about the Lacey Act - that would make more sense, IMO.

Wall Street is in Manhattan, NYC...those Tennesseans who wish to join the Wall Street protests should get on a greyhound and go to Wall Street, IMHO.

WrdBrn is right, the USSC opened the spigots of corporate campaign cash with its Citizens United ruling. Lobbyists will now tighten their grip on our bribed elected officials; democracy is moribund in the US, the nation is evolving into a fascist state, where industry, finance and government are in full collusion mode....and the military machine is staffed by highly paid mercenaries...professional killers who work outside the judicial system and outside the bounds of international human rights law.

We should all be protesting our slide into fascism...it's been tried before, in Europe, and it fails to deliver anything but war and misery.

By: WrdBrn on 10/6/11 at 6:37

(Nashville is more a hub of international finance than you might know - i.e., the HOMETOWN of the original heads for AMEX, have you counted insurance companies?)

By: richgoose on 10/6/11 at 6:43

I love it all ! I love seeing the dregs of the earth,the misfits,the failures.the naive,the intellectually bankrupt,the underclass and the zombies protest against the Wall Street scum.

I have seen the best of America and now I am seeing the implosion of America. While it is all transpiring I am challenged to maintain the standard of living that so many of my generation have enjoyed. So far so good!

By: WrdBrn on 10/6/11 at 6:57

I offer this link to US Senator (IL) Dick Durban's recent presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIgwraNRb-0&feature=share IMO this alone is reason enough for OccupyTogether!

By: Redbarron06 on 10/6/11 at 7:15

If they want to protest, let them. They have the right to do so. Nobody is listening because they cant offer a unified message. At least the group in Nashville seems to have a better plan than the idiots in NYC.

As far as the idea of getting business out of govt. Great, I'm all for it but it works both ways. Get the NLRB, OSHA, DOL and other BS govt agencies out of business. And lets not forget that unions are businesses too. That means getting the UAW, SEIU, AFL/CIO and all of the rest of the communist ilk out of govt. While we are at it groups like La Raza, ACORN and other "community activists" business need to go with them. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: budlight on 10/6/11 at 7:17

patrick551 on 10/5/11 at 3:09
This group is odd. They are protesting the very policies they voted for with Obama, whose campaign was fully supported and funded by Wall Street. Who gave the 99%'s money to banks and auto manufacturers. Has given the 99%'s money to non-existent 'green' companies that were fronts for Obama campaign donors. Did a hundreds of billion dollar 'stimulus' that increased unemployment and was a slush fund for union leaders and big business tycoons. Now they are for bigger ever intrusive government, but protest police brutality! The only people who will benefit from this trust fund babies movement are psychiatrists.

Patrick this is so true. Obama did receive much funding from Wall Street. And it is true that he gave tons of money to the bogus "green" company which is now defunct and their "peeps" are taking the 5th amendment probably to protect the big daddy O'bama!

But even more disconcerting is the news I heard yesterday: Michelle O'bama's trip to Africa cost millions. She lied about who she was taking and it's on the record. She listed her daughters, Sasha and Myleia (sp?) as SENIOR STAFF MEMBERS!
She is no better than any greedy corporate person.

However, things do make sense now: I was thinking that our country is being run by a bunch of out of control children. If O'bama's daughters are SENIOR STAFF MEMBERS in his administration, it all makes sense.

But what makes more sense is the current plan to distract Americans from the real problem. It is the government, not private business.

By: T-BONE on 10/6/11 at 7:25

Are you homeless yet? Very near? Love your sh#ty low paying job? Can't afford "health care? If you are happy with this then DON'T COME!... Or you can always move to CHINA!

By: BenDover on 10/6/11 at 7:27

amen redbarron.

By: BenDover on 10/6/11 at 7:30

amen redbarron.

By: budlight on 10/6/11 at 7:45

By: T-BONE on 10/6/11 at 8:25
Are you homeless yet? Very near? Love your sh#ty low paying job? Can't afford "health care? If you are happy with this then DON'T COME!... Or you can always move to CHINA!

TBone, if one person from California quit their job to come to NY to protest, that is enough for me to say that they are all stupid. They are probably being paid by our tax dollars to do this. No we don't want to move to China and we sure don't want China moving to America.

Are you homeless yet? Do you have a job? Regardless of the income, a person should be grateful for their job! Healthcare? Well, just try to stay well by not going out and standing in the cold all day to protect the very companies that are hiring people and giving them jobs - Corporations!

And Corporations are not greedy. It's PEOPLE who are greedy. Obama is one of the greediest people we've seen in a long time! Go to Washington and protect his wife lying on the manifest by saying her children were "SENIOR STAFF MEMBERS" on her million dollar excursion to Africa (took 21 people with her).

OH, that doesn't count, does it? It does to me! I want her investigated and the money paid back - pronto!

By: budlight on 10/6/11 at 7:46

PS: recently she was spotted wearing about $47,000 dollars worth of diamond and gold bracelets (3 of them at the same time). Talk about rich greed!

By: BenDover on 10/6/11 at 7:48

It's interesting to me how many people have contempt for these big companies yet what can the CEO of Exxon do to you? He has absolutely no power over you. You can shop at a competitor or ride your damn bicycle if you like. The lowly bureaucrat though can steal hours from your life if she so chooses. By propagating ineptness at the DMV one can ruin yours and thousands of your neighbor's day and with civil service protections there's little anyone can do to stop it except maybe promote her to a position where here ineptness matters less. A traffic cop in a bad mood can cost you days in court and hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs if he so chooses yet the leader of some non-favored business needs to be knee-capped for not giving you more of his profits?

Exxon's profit per gallon of gasoline works out to about 2 cents and is small in comparison to the 40 cents per gallon we pay in taxes here in Tennessee. I've really got no problem with 2 cents profit to the evil oil company if they'll go to the trouble to make sure that when I pull up to the pump there's fuel there for me to fill up.

Obama and Co, however, want to play you idiots against industry to keep industry on it's knee-pads in front of the real ruling class... our federal government overlords. Who wins? The Politically motivated politicians and the bureaucracy. Who loses? The consumers. It's just another tax that can be blamed on the productive sector... and more non-value-added friction for the economy to suffer through.

By: Redbarron06 on 10/6/11 at 8:15

I wonder how many of these people that are protesting "big business" have a 401K account?

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: BigPapa on 10/6/11 at 8:25

Im sure they'll protest the evil corporations while using an iPhone, wearing a North Face jacket, and drinking a Starbucks.

By: GUARDIAN on 10/6/11 at 8:37

GUARDIAN-As this communist plan takes hold of America the left should take care and think about what happens when "WE THE PEOPLE" have had enough... it is then that we take hold of them... I can hear their cry of fear and pain as the race cards fly..

By: BenDover on 10/6/11 at 8:44

#OccupyWallStreetMovies over on twitter is hysterical.

one flew over the cuckoo's tent.

Starbuck's troopers

Dude, where's my handout?

Dude, where's my Czar?

'It's a Wonderful Life' (In My Parents Basement Without a Job and a Sense of Entitlement)

My Big Fat Greek Economy.

and my Favorite:

The 40 year old undergrad.

By: BigPapa on 10/6/11 at 8:49

I wonder how many are in NYC on their Daddy's credit card?

By: Redbarron06 on 10/6/11 at 8:52

Yea those damn evil banks extending credit to people and actually expecting to get paid for the service. Pure evil.

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: BigPapa on 10/6/11 at 8:56

If the Left can't see the irony of a lot of upper income white kids protesting corporations they're blind.

By: Bellecat on 10/6/11 at 11:22

Any American who has not been blind, deaf, and dumb for the last few years should be in full support of these protests. We should all be speaking up and trying to make our country better for everyone, not just the top 1%. The wealthy elite, the politicians, big business and the corporate culture have ravaged our country. It really is way past time for the pendulum to swing back.

By: Redbarron06 on 10/6/11 at 2:15


Swing back to what? Unions and gov running everything or the true Constitution where the federal gov gets the hell out of everybody's buisness? Swing back to a time when we went out and made a dollar and got to keep it rather than give half of it up to Uncle Sugar who hands it out as he see fit with no authority to do so? Lets swing back to a time when you either went out and got a job or you became a burdon on your family and not everybodies.

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: StanishInquisition on 10/6/11 at 9:00

Redbarron06 There's no sense in drawing a distinction between washington and wall street, its made up of mostly the same people at the top. Obama's cabinet is filled with Goldman alums, his OMB chief went to citibank after he quit, and even Supreme Court Justice Kagan served on a high paying Goldman "board". Same was true of Bush.

The people who are actually responsible for this mess are long dead. Hell LBJ campaigned with a suitcase full of money in his helicopter. What we have to ask ourselves is how do we restore fairness and reason to the markets and to our government. Well the government corporate relationship(read: big corporate, not small businesses, which are getting screwed) as well as with big unions, big energy, big military, et al. is such that in order to compete you have to bribe (industry) or be bribed(politics). If you don't do it, you lose the game, end of story. Some call this "systemic corruption" where the very rules of the game are such that you have to act in a corrupt way just to compete.

I think the "Occupy" movement has a shot at becoming a nonpartisan movement to end the big money/big government connection. It's as pointless to say "it's the fault of corporations" as it is to say "it's government's fault" --it's all an organic system of corruption that has grown over decades. But we do know that cutting off that stream of money is the first step to restoring some semblance of democracy to America.

That's why we need real tea pary patriots to come out with their guns, bibles, and Constitutions to demand this stop. And if you don't expect us to believe the crap they said about the tea party, then don't listen to the propaganda they say about occupy. Both began as grass roots, which makes them a target of the establishment, which immediately attempts to discredit them through big media like msnbc, cnn, fox, etc.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, the last thing Washington wants is for tea party patriots to join the occupy movement, because then they'd actually have to stop what they are doing to us all.

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By: Redbarron06 on 10/7/11 at 8:24


First we start by repealing 17A. Bring one half of one third of the gov back to where it belongs. When a law gets passed now everybody that puts hands on it are pandering for votes in one way or another. When it goes back to the House looking for the people and the Senate looking out for the rights of the States 90% of all of the big gov BS laws and regulations would end and many would begin to get repealed. We go back to COTUS and ask the question about every single law on the books. "Where in the Constitution does it tell us that the federal govt has this authority?" We apply it to everything from Social Security, to MEDICARE/MEDICADE, to AWB/GCA/NFA to DOMA, LEOSA, "Obamacare" and "No child left behind".

Obviously I am a huge 2A supporter. Lets look at AWB/GCA/NFA. Then look at 2A. there is nothing in COTUS about "reasonable restrictions" is there? There is nothing there about hunting or sporting or even self defense. It sais "WILL NOT BE INFRINGED" peroid end of disscussion. That does not mean background checks, special taxes, FOID cards, HCP permits or waiting peroids. It sais the govt is completly 100% HANDS OFF. Where do we find "no child left behind"? I dont see it? Where does it say that gov has the authority to take money from me and give it to sombody else? It don't.

We have to end the pratice of "pass it and it will be the law until it is overruled in court" and get to "dont pass it if we dont have the authority to do so".

The fact of the matter is that gov has never given power back to the governed. Not is this nation or any other. The people have to take it and most of the time it is taken at the end of a barrel. Its where we are headed sooner or later. I hate to see it coming but I am not going to see the train coming down the tracks and deny it is even there.

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: HazelLee on 2/19/12 at 3:53

That's well known that money makes us independent. But what to do if someone does not have money? The one way is to try to get the mortgage loans and just sba loan.