At about 3am this morning, 100 Tennessee Highway Patrol, with dogs, arrested 30 people at Legislative Plaza and put them on buses.
UPDATE #2 Local TV news is reporting that a Judge
is "dropping the charges" against the arrestees.
Judge orders release of protesters for lack of probable cause.
UPDATE #4 .. from the Occupy Nashville facebook page ..
At 3AM on Friday, Tennessee State Troopers arrested 29 protesters from Occupy Nashville at Legislative PLaza. The Tennessean reported that they were released early this morning, but as of 8 AM they were still being held. They will be charged with criminal trespass.
The Occupy Nashville General Assembly will meet on the steps of Legislative Plaza this evening, Friday October 28 at 7PM. If you oppose the actions of the state in prohibiting free political speech at Legislative Plaza, please attend this meeting and show your support. If you are concerned about possible arrest, the sidewalks on the street in front of the steps are under city jurisdiction and not state jurisdiction and should be a safe zone. It is the usual practice of authorities to issue a warning to vacate an area before instigating an arrest.
Occupy Nashville also adopted the following response to the State’s Ground Use Policy created and adopted yesterday for this public space:
We, the free people of Tennessee do hereby declare our intent to protect our right to assembly guaranteed in the constitutions of The United States and the State of Tennessee. Legislative Plaza, being a publicly owned space, and directly associated with the people’s legislature, is an appropriate and legal place to assemble for the purpose of petitioning and applying for a redress of grievances.
The policy regarding our presence on Legislative PLaza recently announced by the Department of General Services is in direct violation of our Constitutional Rights. We intend to resist this illegal action by the state in a peaceful and dignified manner.
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.
- 1st Amendment United States Constitution
§ 23. Right of assembly; redress of grievances
That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance
Article 1 Tennessee State Constitution
From the Occupy Nashville website ....
Thursday, October 27, 2011 after dark at Legislative Plaza, there will be a candlelight vigil in honor of critically injured Veteran, Scott Olsen, and the men and women who have suffered and died to keep America a free country. The citizens participating in the peaceful Occupy Nashville are asserting their rights to be present on public property that they have paid for with their taxes and in conjunction with the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights as amended to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Occupation citizens had two meetings with state employees who didn’t seem to understand the rights of citizens to gather peaceably and petition the government for redress of wrongs. The state employees and a representative from Homeland Security decided to arbitrarily eject the petitioners and require further payment to the state for their free speech. They also decided to deny all citizens access to Legislative Plaza from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Those participating in Occupy Nashville, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, agreed that they would stand up for their rights to remain on the Plaza