Occupy Nashville's move to Metro Courthouse a small, short one

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 11:36am
By Steven Hale

Occupy Nashville’s first real foray onto Nashville property lasted just a few hours.

Though several members of the group had gathered there earlier in the night, one protester — Matt Hamill, according to multiple reports — had set up a tent on the city’s Public Square, outside the Metro Courthouse. A Metro police spokeswoman said he left of his own accord.

"Early this morning two Central Precinct officers talked to two persons inside a tent and reminded them of the Metro ordinance against being in a city park after 11 p.m. until the park reopens the following day. They were not arrested nor even told they would be arrested, they left of their own accord," she said.

Throughout the night, as seen on a livestreaming web video, several protesters gathered on the square and called for Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to “protect the First Amendment.”

Yesterday afternoon, the group held a meeting at their encampment on the state Capitol grounds to discuss their plans in the face of pending legislation, which would restrict them from camping on the premises. Despite the looming threat of more arrests, several in the group said they intend to stay, with their tents, on the plaza they’ve occupied since Oct. 7.

17 Comments on this post:

By: whitetrash on 2/14/12 at 11:36

They should consider moving to the fairgrounds speedway at the fairgrounds, they would fit right in.

By: PKVol on 2/14/12 at 11:44

whitetrash, I think the objectives of Save the Fairgrounds and Occupy Nashville are polar opposites. One group is decidedly liberal in its makeup, while the other is decidedly conservative.

By: whitetrash on 2/14/12 at 12:30

One group is liberals who need to shower the other is rednecks who need to shower so they should fit right in together.

By: MusicCity615 on 2/14/12 at 12:36

The first amendment does not include the "right" to camp out with tents on metro property, costing taxpayers thousands.

By: Ask01 on 2/14/12 at 1:15

Where does this end? When do people recognize that every time you applaud government limiting someones free speech, even it that speech may offend you or be incoherent, you express tacit support for allowing governments to use whatever even minimally passes for plausible to expand those limits, perhaps even to your own mouth.

The excuse was, I believe at first something about public safety, then public nuisance, then I'm not sure what the complaints were.

I suspect the biggest complaint was many observers read something into the protest aimed at them. Certainly the politicians know they are in bed with big business, and big business knows they have lied about creating jobs. The same for the wealthy, moaning that they shouldn't be taxed as they create jobs also. Both outright lies. How can you tell? What jobs have they created? Real, living wage jobs. Contrast that with how many are laid off.

Another complaint I'm sure is from those who, while having jobs are afraid they may soon join the unemployed.

I was once one of those looking down on the unemployed. Untill I found myself unemployed. A good republican, supported capitalism, worked all my life, all the right boxes filled. Then everything changed, and I was laid off. No problem, sterling recommendations from employers, I'll be working in no time. Wrong answer. Now, I'm the one called a bum, a leech on society, spit upon by those arrogant people still with jobs. As evil as it is, I do hope all those belittling the occupy folks find pink slips in their next check. If a business owner, I hope your business tanks, and stocks bottom out for both groups. We can all huddle together around the fire barrel because you will now be considered a worthless slug by those still fortunate enough to have jobs.

Sorry for the rant, but some iissues just push buttons. Gotta take another prozac.

By: shinestx on 2/14/12 at 1:49

This is a more appropriate place for them... with the regressive leftist Demwits who run Metro. Birds of a feather get fleas together.

By: shinestx on 2/14/12 at 1:50

Actually, PKVol, the people who have been advocating for saving the fairgrounds are the very grassroots of the Democrats who run Metro. Oh, but they are.

By: yucchhii on 2/14/12 at 2:12

yucchhii It is obvious to me that all the NEGATIVE comments against the protestors are comming from DIMWITS that have NO clue!! They DON'T know a thing about what's going on and they think that what the politicians say about them are true....WHAT BUNCH OF "CRAP"!!! The politicians who are in the process of making a law now to get the protestors out of legislative plaza are a BUNCH OF LIARS!! THAT'S WHAT A POLITICIAN "IS"...A "LIAR"!!! What do democrats and republicans hace in common? They are BOTH politicians and they WILL BOTH BS YOU..or atleast TRY!!! The day I believe a politician is the day I believe the supermarket tabloids and vice versa!!! All I see when a politician opens his or her mouyh is a TURD comming out!!! That's all they speak!!! PROVE ME WRONG!!!

By: spooky24 on 2/14/12 at 2:31

I found a place for them to go. There is a corner lot on South 6th street that is perfect for the exercising of their rights. It's a good place I mean there hasn't been a murder there in 4 days. If they get in need there is a whore mat and crack house next door.


By: Nitzche on 2/14/12 at 4:36

wow,,,spooky bring it!

By: fair_minded on 2/14/12 at 5:43

or perhaps saving the Fairgrounds is-- dare i say it??-- a bi-partisan issue. Maybe one of the last. There are many Republicans and Democrats both working to save that part of the people's property and heritage. And the fight goes on. Metro just commissioned a "study", paying $135,000 of the public's money, to develop a master plan to turn the Fairgrounds into multi-use development. And you thought the referendum and charter amendment outlawed that?

As to the "Occupy" situation, I'm with Ask... give the government an inch and they'll take not a mile, but 10 miles!

I believe it was the French philosopher Rousseau who said "I disagree with everything you say, but I'll defend to the death you're right to say it."

So ON should be left to their own devices as to their protest. When the tea-baggers were protesting taxation on the Capitol grounds, no one suggested running them off because they created traffic congestion on the public streets and in the public buildings. They were exercising their rights, the same as ON is now doing.

And our Constitution is a "limiting" document. It does not specify what you *can* do, but rather what you *cannot* do. It does not limit the times nor manner that our freedom of speech may take. Since it does not prohibit camping on public ground, it is thus allowed.

The fact that ON seems to be a thorn in everyone's side is testament to the effectiveness of their protest. You may not agree with it, you may not even know what it's about, but they certainly have the right to be there.

The freedom of speech and assembly is one of our dearest and most important rights and should be defended against ANY infringement by the government.

I also have a feeling that if this legislation is passed, and if the governor signs it, that that federal judge down on Broadway will issue yet another injunction against this most recent foolishness by our legislature.

By: Ask01 on 2/15/12 at 9:35

You should check out the WKRN board. It is such a joke. Any comments supporting the Occupy Nashville movement seem to mysteriously vanish, most likely because they have the 'flag' option so posters can prompt removal of those with which they disagree. At least here, people have to come keyboard to keyboard with you if they disagree.

By: RTungsten on 2/15/12 at 9:42

Their time would have been better spent looking for a job rather than camping out in the middle of the city. There is a great place to go when you have nothing better to do....to work.

By: Ask01 on 2/15/12 at 10:40

Well, RTungsten, you tell me where you are offering employment, promise not to hold my age against me, and I'll be there with resume in hand, ready for an interview.

I feel I've already deforested vast tracts of the Pacific Northwest filling out pointless applications and floating resumes. This on top of being responsible for the great reduction in cattle having worn out so many shoes walking from store to store seeking employment,

If you have something to offer besides the tired rhetoric parroted by the GOP, and those arrogant sorts with a job, but only a paycheck and a pink slip from being unemployed, I'm willing to listen.

Allow me to present a cautionary tale. I, leaning republican, supporting capitalism, embracing a strong work ethic, my entire life once harped on people to "get a job" and regarded them as "wastrels" and "good for nothing lay abouts," leeches on society and decent people. Suddenly, just like Earl, Karma stepped in along with a soured economy and advancing technology, leaving me laid off. Supremely, arrogantly confident, I went forth to seek employment. Three years and many insults later from those I was once like later, I am still unemployed.

Come join me and walk in the other shoes for a while. You might be here eventually anyway. Do not think such is unthinkable, as, believe me. you too can fall.

By: PKVol on 2/15/12 at 10:49

Ask01 - were you at the job fair at Opry Mill yesterday or at the Nashville Zoo? Nashville Shores and the Nashville Sounds will also soon have job fairs. I realize it isn't the work you were formerly doing or are trained for, but it is work, honest, honerable work.

By: Ask01 on 2/15/12 at 11:31

There was a job fair at the zoo? When? I would have gone to that one. As far as Opry Mills, I have focused so on certain areas around Antioch, I have lost sight of the bigger picture, and heard about it the day of and, to be honest, figured it to be yet another cattle call. Thousands turn out for a few jobs. Stack of resumes and applications filed away unread as the interviewers, overwhelmed by turnout make their selections from the first few, and never even review the rest. In all fairness, though, (not usually my style) they don't have time.

Have you been to any of these, by the way? I've been to so many, I've lost count and hope, I might add. Employers have become spoiled with so many applicants and I for one relish the day they have to beg for people to work and kiss employees hindquarters. It will serve them right.

My retirement check suffices for the moment, although a buffer would indeed be nice. I'll keep searching though do I thank you for pointing out Nashville Shores and the Sounds. I had forgotten all about them.

I will have to pay closer attention for job fairs in the future.

By: Loyal Rebel on 2/17/12 at 12:23

Loyal Rebel

I watched the Channel 5 talk station (forgot channel #) the other day and the
reporter was practically foaming over the two Occupy protesters who were
on there. One guest was about 18-21 a female college student who behaved
in a dignified manner. The other was about 35, a white lady who acted as if
she was about five, giggling, hogging the conversation etc. I could tell the
student was embarassed to be on there with her. The 35 year old mumbled
something about she had "my own business" and the foaming reporter did
NOT follow up and ask her how she can be with Occupy 24/7 for four months
and run her business. Reporter was Nick Beres, I believe. The show had
about a dozen callers and ALL were favorable to Occupy - an astronomical
success in that 90% of Nashville ARE NOT favorable to them. Obviously a
rigged show in that the Occupiers had encouraged their people to hog up
all space in the call-in segments.