State troopers arrest, evict Occupy Nashville protesters

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 9:04am
By Steven Hale

Updated 9:50 a.m.

State troopers just after 3 a.m. Friday morning arrested 29 Occupy Nashville protesters, enforcing a new overnight curfew on the grounds.

The protesters were released shortly after 9 a.m. Friday. A court date has been set for the group in Davidson County General Sessions Court for Nov. 19.

At 3:10 a.m., 75 troopers arrived on the plaza and asked protesters to leave the area. A group of about two dozen protesters moved to the surrounding sidewalks, which are under city jurisdiction, to avoid arrest. Troopers arrested the 29 protesters who refused to leave.

Friday morning, Occupy Nashville organizers said that protesters were “handcuffed with zip-ties, photographed and guided into a bus that contained holding cages.” The release, posted on the Occupy Nashville website, also alleges that SWAT teams and K-9 units were involved in the arrests.

All along, protesters have made it clear that they intend to stay put and have announced plans to return Friday evening for a General Assembly on the plaza steps. A member of the group’s media team told The City Paper Thursday that the possibility of relocation had been discussed, but that no consensus had been reached yet.

Until this morning, state officials had been unclear about how and if they would enforce the newly imposed 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on the plaza and surrounding grounds. Commissioner Bill Gibbons supported the state’s actions in the following statement:

“The Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security took the appropriate action to support the state’s revised policy that the Legislative Plaza is not to be used at night without specific authorization,” Gibbons said. “The policy was revised for security reasons, and the protestors were aware of the policy. The process was handled by state troopers in a professional manner and without incident.”

State officials explained via release the timing of the arrests, which came more than five hours after the curfew went into effect at 10 p.m.

“The Dept. of Safety and Homeland Seurity enforced the policy at the least disruptive time to citizens who visit, work and live in downtown Nashville,” the release reads.

At a press briefing Friday morning, Gibbons said Gov. Bill Haslam was briefed on the situation and that his office approved the operation.

15 Comments on this post:

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 9:17

Stink up the plaza.
Now down-twinkle trip to jail.
Dad pays fines, repeat,

By: Loner on 10/28/11 at 9:34

On a related note: Beavis and Butthead returned to MTV last night....Cornholio did not appear in the first new episode....with the advent of the TP, our beloved Cornholio may finally find TP for his bunghole....meanwhile, in Nashville, TN, Governor Haslam has pulled his Metallica T-shirt over his head and is asking the protesters, "ARE YOU THREATENING ME?!"

One hundred state troopers were called in, on overtime, to arrest 25 peaceful demonstrators? Haslam is Cornholio....he needs TP for his bunghole....start the recall petition now, before people are maimed or killed, the Governor has panicked.

By: TRHJR on 10/28/11 at 10:09

hey loner(perfect name) get them nasty,flea infested,as- wipes off my front lawn .. signed HOMLESS JIMMY & JOE ...they want a job ? bull sh-t ....me & Joe don`t work ... get along just fine

By: Just Sayin on 10/28/11 at 10:37

Just Sayin, I find it hard to make sense of whats happening in our society today. Tennesse politicans came running to the plight of Gibson's guitar corporation, yet none have showed up to talk with the protesters, their constituants who need heard and represented, yet they are probably not political donors, that we know makes a difference. Here in Tennesse it seems we have the best politicans big money can buy Also the comments that I read, seem down grading some downright hateful, I wonder if these comments are coming from the Christian Conservatives in our churches today.

By: fairlymoderate on 10/28/11 at 12:00

fairly moderate
The protesters should have been cars driving around the Capitol. Disrupting traffic is OK but being peaceful is not.

By: David_S on 10/28/11 at 12:14

Honestly, the ridiculousness of the Occupy movements really shined through this morning. Instead of simply vacating the park between 10PM and 6AM, they chose to be arrested? Really? You feel like you can't make your voice heard and peaceably assemble if the police make you go home at night? Wow.

And what exactly is it that is so important for you protest? Oh, that's right, you don't really seem to know.

By: ghost7638ghost7... on 10/28/11 at 12:53

Just another way to show how your freedom of free speech is no longer free, it's like living in Germany during Hilter's days. I spent a year in Vietnam for these prostester to have this right, they should be able to stay as long as they see fit to protest a wrong, it's not hurting anyone just taking up a lot of there time.

By: Loner on 10/28/11 at 2:21

TRHJR is actually Gov. Haslam posting under an dumbass username? Certainly the post was asinine enough to be from the Governor....Haslam hasn't "worked" in decades either. And yes, Haslam is cowardly enough to post something like that....the man is very frightened by a couple of dozen sign carrying citizens....he called in his goons.

By: onewhisper2 on 10/28/11 at 3:29

So, 75 state troopers can show up to arrest 29 people, but there's not one available to ride around the block every couple of hours and none available when there's a guy lying bleeding on the sidewalk? really?!

By: Loner on 10/29/11 at 9:39

From the article:

“The Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security took the appropriate action to support the state’s revised policy that the Legislative Plaza is not to be used at night without specific authorization,” (Commissioner) Gibbons said.

"Homeland Security"? Sadly, fear-based governance has trickled down, from the federal to the state level. These arrests are proof that this is now the case in the Volunteer State....Davy Crockett would be appalled.

Think about it, Bin Laden and his rag tag band of Jihadists have scared the Hell out of the land of the free, home of the brave.

We are witnessing a panicky official reaction to the exercise of our Constitutional Rights, right here in Nashville, TN. That should trouble everyone, regardless of political affiliation.

A few peaceful demonstrators with signs was enough to trigger a SWAT team and K-9 Unit response....75 police officers arresting 29 demonstrators at 3:00 AM....for violating a new "Homeland Security" curfew? It's Orwellian.

By: Loner on 10/29/11 at 10:07

Governor Willliam Edward "Cornholio" Haslam, the TP favorite, bills himself as an advocate for limited government. But when it comes to dealing with a handful of peaceful citizens exercising their rights of free assembly and free speech, Haslam is an advocate for Homeland Security overkill...SWAT teams, Police Dogs, new curfews and mass arrests.

Governor Bill "Cornholio" Haslam has tipped his hand, he's a big fan of big government.

This time they're cracking down on this particular group of not-so-popular protesters; rest assured, with Haslam in power, the SWAT teams and K-9 units will be there to crack down on your protest too, should you be brave enough to resist.

Haslam must go.

By: Loner on 10/29/11 at 10:25

By: onewhisper2 on 10/28/11 at 3:29

So, 75 state troopers can show up to arrest 29 people, but there's not one available to ride around the block every couple of hours and none available when there's a guy lying bleeding on the sidewalk? really?!

Onewhisper2, I can explain that: The Metro PD cops are literally walking around neighborhoods, in the middle of the night, sniffing the air for the aroma of growing Cannibis (marijuana). Here's an NCP story to back that incredible claim up:

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/early-morning-traffic-stop-leads-police-pot-grow-operation

The K-9 units are being used to harass peaceful protesters, the human cops are walking around Nashville, sniffing for marijuana.....you just can't make stuff like this up. It would be humorous, if it were not so tragic and serious.

Nashville has some fundamental issues with prioritization, in my humble opinion.

By: pepawjoe on 10/30/11 at 12:50

Simple assumption here, many of Mr Haslam's campaign donors and wealthy friends don't care for the "REAL TRUTH" about their "NO CONCERN" for the taxpaying Public, who by the way, had their taxdollars "GIVEN AWAY" to many of Mr Haslam's Social Community members.
Remember when Mr Haslam used our tax dollars to pay his new staff and Department Heads far more than what was determined to be a far salary for the work that needs to be done in our State.
Big Government is Mr Haslam's quest and a extremely well paid Government as well. Question for the citizens of Tennessee: Did Mr Haslam "ASK" the citizenery if there was any concerns about his massive payraise policies for Government positions? "NO, NO" he just simply forced the added costs on to the citizens of our State.
Is anyone SURPRISED?

By: pswindle on 10/30/11 at 4:19

Haslam should be ashamed of himself. I am so tired of the GOP saying one thing and doing another. Haslam, Maggart, Ramsey and a few more will destroy this state before we can vote then out, but I doubt if they are going anywhere because the churches are in control. We are now joing the likes of Alabama and Mississippi.

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