Even though it’s been nearly a year since they’ve been removed from Legislative Plaza, the Occupy Nashville protesters are not going away quietly.
More than a dozen Occupy Nashville protesters, including 13 that were arrested, filed a lawsuit against the state in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on Wednesday.
The lawsuit names Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of General Services Commissioner Steven Cates, Department of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and the Tennessee Highway Patrol officers who carried out the dispersion of protesters on War Memorial Plaza last year.
Occupy Nashville took up camp on the plaza on Oct. 6, 2011, building off the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.
The lawsuit specifically takes aim at a set of new rules that were enforced to oust the protesters from the plaza. The protesters are requesting a federal judge to permanently prohibit the enforcement of the new rules.
“These New Rules unconstitutionally limit access by the public to a forum universally accepted to be an area protected for the speech of the governed,” the lawsuit said.
The suit also claims the defendants are guilty of First Amendment violations, due process violations, unlawful search and seizure and unlawful arrest.
The Occupy Nashville organization filed a similar lawsuit, including a preliminary injunction, against the state last year. Federal Judge Aleta Trauger ordered the state to halt arrests of protesters.
The protesters listed as plaintiffs are: Lindsey Krinks, Megan Riggs, Tristan Call, Jeremiah Carter, Autumn Dennis, Taylor Stevens, Michael Weber, Michael Custer, Christopher Humphrey, Michelle Muldoon, Connie Smith, Elizabeth Sharp, Karl Bolton and Dorsey Malina.