It hasn’t been a good week here in TN. Charles Pierce, Hunter, PZ Meyers, and Suzie Madrak have all spilled virtual ink and probably actual tears about goings-on here. (Even I joined the chorus of Cassandra’s.) Read the rest of this entry →
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“The Blunt amendment put me over the top. I am sick of rhetoric, and as all of you who know me, know, I have an East Tennessee fire in the belly. I am tired of liars, cons and thieves, a filthy environment and the subjugation of the poor, let alone the middle class. I am not buyable, and I don’t have $7.5 million for my campaign. But I have you, or some of you, and I believe, I believe, I believe!”
Actress and activist Park Overall announced she will challenge Bob Corker for the his U.S. Senate seat this November here in TN. She’s already received favorable notice in the blogosphere with her fiery speech at the annual Jackson Day dinner.
Corker, of course, will have Big Money behind him.
He may need it, if Overall mounts a competent campaign. Corker’s environmental record is laughable, and his vote for the Blount Amendment may well resonate in a state that is 51.3% “Female persons.” While he has the power of incumbency, Harold Ford gave him a run for the money in 2006.
He polls well against most opponents, although former Governor Phil Bredesen bested him in one poll.
And while Mitt Romney (‘Grit’ Romney ‘roun’ these hy’ere parts, y’all!) leads President Obama in TN polling, it’s close and in some cases within the margin of error.
Tennessee’s population is pretty evenly distributed, and with Park at 55, she should be able to relate to the roughly 32% that is over 50. There are some problems, however.
Of course, there’s still a lot of football to be played, and Romney’s VP choice will be important, but if Park Overall can get face to face with Bob Corker and get her message out, she could be a contender.
Tennessee has been in the news again, and as usual, not for very good reasons. Bills legalizing ignorance, stupidity, and greed are poised for take-off. The first two bills won’t even create “useful idiots,” but a totally useless variety, while the third eliminates the inheritance tax by 2016 (click on the PDF in the above link). Bill Howell of Tennesseans For Fair Taxation predicted passage of SB 3762/HB 3760 was pretty much a done deal at GA today.
In a recent interview on The Young Turks , Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen noted how TN’s voter demographic is changing to a deeper red as retirees are moving here due to the lack of a state income tax. Our State nickname is being adjusted to “The Voluntarily Stupid State.”
Fortunately, sentient Tennesseans have been standing up. Just this week, some 3,200 signatures were delivered to Gov. Haslam (There’s still time to add more, and call the Governor’s office if you feel so inclined), courtesy of MoveOn and friend of FDL Bill McKibben’s 350.org.
Occupy Nashville has not been idle, either. After last week’s successful “sleep over,” they featured Sizwe Herring of Earth Matters Networks speaking about “Occupy Permaculture: Designing an Enlightened, Ancient Future Together.” (I only wish I had known about him earlier.) Upcoming events with him are here.
This evening (7 April) will feature ON’s contributions to Nashville’s “Art Crawl.” Would you crawl around with these paintings?
As it’s Spring, an Occupier’s thoughts turn to May Day, and ON is no no exception. Today, preliminary plans were sketched out for for a day at Centennial Park, starting at 11 am with a history teach-in, followed by a lunch, and possibly protest training in the afternoon. They are waiting to finalize plans with Occupy Vanderbilt
Because if we don’t succeed, this is what awaits us.
You will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Isaiah 58:12
Today features the Rally For The Right To Exist here in Nashville on Legislative Plaza. Starting after GA at 1:30, the activities included a Palm Sunday service with Amos House, a meditation and discussion circle, a mobile foot clinic in honor of the day,
and then on to teach-ins and workshops, a showing of the documentary “Crossing The American Crisis,” before moving into its final and most daring phase, an overnight sleep-in on the Plaza. Read the rest of this entry →
This Sunday, April 1, Nashville will join with communities and cities across the United States and Canada for a National Day of Action for the Right to Exist, sponsored by WRAP, the Western Regional Advocacy Program.
At stake is Room In The Inn
Friends and fellow housing advocates,
Just wanted to invite you to an event we’re having next Sunday, April 1st (Palm Sunday) to bring attention to the criminalization of homelessness. All of the details are below. I hope you’ll be able to drop by and I hope you’re well. with peace.
“RALLY FOR THE RIGHT TO EXIST”
Do you think it is a crime to be homeless?
Do you think law enforcement should engage in “social profiling?”
Do you think it should be possible for people to be locked away for a year in jail and charged with a $2,500 fine just for sleeping on State property?
If you don’t (or even if you do), you’re invited to a “Rally for the Right to Exist!” Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve got nothing to report from Occupy Nashville for this week, but I figure it’s better to report nothing and keep people up to date, than to leave a vacuum. Yesterday, Nashville held a rally for Trayvon Martin, and most of the Occupiers were among the 600 or so that attended, so with only a small handful at the Plaza, GA was canceled.
Following up on a couple of stories from earlier in the week, Nashville Occupier Chris Humphrey had been arrested Tuesday, for failure to be booked on a trespassing charge from October. Chris was released and at the Plaza yesterday.
In other Tennessee Occupy news, be sure to welcome Occupy Vanderbilt.
I posted about them here. Occupy Chattanooga was also in the news with an eviction. Occupy Murfreesboro has been under the radar, but under scrutiny, as well.
Don’t forget about the No Fooling, National Day of Action for the Right to Exist, on 1 April. ON plans a sleepover that night, after teach-ins and workshops.
FDL stickers should always be used with caution tape!
Last Monday, a new Occupy came to be, as Vanderbilt students here in Nashville took to the tents to protest the below poverty level wages of Vanderbilt Dining workers, with a typical worker earning $16,500 a year. Not only are employees treated as seasonal workers, but they are also denied unemployment claims when they are laid off for the summer. Lest you think that Vandy execs set an austere example, their Top 10 made on the average over $2 million in 2008. The top of the heap made $5.2 million that year.
Occupy Nashville couldn’t be prouder, and while a few ON members have been involved, they want OV to become all it can be, standing on their own feet, and as these kids are more than alright, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.
OV has a unique situation, being on campus property, which should help them avoid some of the problems that plagued ON, such as an unruly and uncontrollable element. Overnight protestors are limited to students, and there is a campus police presence 24/7 (While I was there this morning, there was a single policeman in a car who greeted and waved at me). Occupiers Tori and Ben were both very nice and knowledgeable, and allowed me to tape a short interview; unfortunately, my normally faithful Flipcam was neither nice nor faithful, and said interview was eaten, so I’ve had to rely on their handouts and a faulty memory to recreate my visit.
You can read their declaration here. As a new Occupy, they are wrestling with the usual logistics, so they were quite happy to learn about FDL and Occupy Supply, not to mention our weekly webinars and helpful hints. I am hopeful they will link their community with ours, and I hope to see their posts here as we learn and work together on their progress and problems. Because that’s what friends are for. Of course, you can find them on Facebook. There are also these links on the handouts they gave me, www.OURVandy.Org, and occupyvanderbilt.org.
“Working On A Building” performed by The Swan Silvertones from 1948.
Last Monday morning at about 4 am, Occupy Nashville was finally evicted from Legislative Plaza. I updated my then current post with the news and a couple of links, plus ON’s statement later that day. Lone camper Chris Humphrey was dragged from his tent, but not arrested. The information table was at first confiscated, then returned.
ON has chosen not to try and re-Occupy the Plaza by camping, but has maintained a presence with their information table, and in true ON fashion, a unique spin on the use of a tent-probably the best use of one since this last November- by unveiling “The Tent Monster.”
On Friday, 2 March, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law “the measure that makes it illegal for anyone to camp on state-owned land that is not specifically designated for that purpose.” Gov. Haslam also gave Occupy Nashville a seven day notice to leave or face the maximum fines of $2,500 and /or 11 months and 29 days in jail, echoing an earlier comment made by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey .
Chris Humphrey strides across history’s stage Read the rest of this entry →
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. Read the rest of this entry →