Governor Haslam signed a bill last Friday to evict Occupy Nashville from Legislative Plaza. ON has been given a week’s notice, effective 2 March, so anytime after the midnight hour this coming Thursday night/Friday morning (8/9 March), the Plaza could be filled with refugees from a Star Wars convention. This has even been garnering some national attention. While most of the Occupiers have found other havens, a small corps remains, and in spite of the excessive penalties, there are some that plan on getting arrested.
After last Saturday’s acrimonious GA, ON continued to have a rough week. While the nights are still in the 30′s, temperatures during the day were pleasant enough. On Friday however, Mother Nature once again threw everything but the kitchen sink at the hardy hangers-on. High winds, thunder storms, heavy rain, and golf ball sized hail stones pelted the Plaza, while tornado sirens filled what little atmosphere that was still available.
Occupier Jason Steen was also pelted, but in a different way, as a (now former) Occupier assaulted him and did some real damage to Jason’s head, fracturing his face, but not his resolve. This is the second time I know of where Jason has had problems with his safety at the Plaza, and in spite of this, he’s still an active and contributing Occupier, and is among those that plan on getting arrested. You can help Jason here, and all of ON here.
They also learned that ACLU won’t be taking up the case against HB2638/ SB2508. While it was noted that the ACLU didn’t originally plan on protesting the October arrests, the expenses that could be incurred this time could be prohibitive, possibly having to go all the wayto the Supreme Court. There are several legal points I am not qualified to address, but be aware the ACLU is not throwing ON to the lions. Another legal matter, allowing the presence of a symbolic tent and some sort of shelter for protestors, was raised, and ON’s legal council will ask the TN AG about the use of the “money tent,” and a possible shelter tent. Camping and sleeping are prohibited, and reaction is still unknown, although ON has been constantly reassured that protesting is protected and legal 24/7.
This week, ON also bid a final farewell to friend Charles Potter today, with three members attending his funeral. With the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America and ALEC looking to make TN’s homeless our version of Arizona’s illegal immigrants, a “chronic booking offender” is now more cash cow than human being.
This coming Wednesday (7 March), will feature a big event in the Plaza, the United Campus Workers Rally for Civil, Worker, Human Rights. Last year’s rally featured over a 1,000 protestors.
ON is facing Friday’s coming eviction with a resolve and determination I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks. While prepared to give up camping, they are not going to stop protesting. Supporters are welcome, both physically and financially. As noted above, this could be a long day, as police could arrive any time after 11:59 Thursday, 8 March. Various gestures and actions were discussed, but most involved people, so if you or anyone you know can attend this Thursday’s GA, you should. Fortunately, TN’s police have so far on the whole avoided any use of the excessive force that has soiled the legacy of the sons of 911 in other states, but they did show up dressed to kill last October.
Lucky listeners get a double dose of Dave Bartholomew this post to funk you up, with “That’s How You Got Killed Before,” and “The Monkey.” It’s got a good beat and you can believe to it.