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Occupy Nashville: Feces & Needles & Pee, Oh Me!

7:18 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Information Table 17 March

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.”

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Occupy Nashville: Waiting For To Go Updated With Eviction News

7:33 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Occupy Nashville 10 March

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 .

Last Saturday, the feeling was that Haslam would act sooner rather than later; but as of today, ON, although reduced to a lone camper and his tent, is still on the Plaza.

Occupy Nashville GA 10 March 3

Chris Humphrey strides across history’s stage Read the rest of this entry →

Occupy Nashville: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Occupy Nashville GA 25 Feb 2

The constant stress and tension of living under the Legislature’s gun at Occupy Nashville took it’s toll at yesterday’s GA. Unfortunately, ON hasn’t been able to arrive at a consensus about what to do after eviction. This week saw movement on that front as the Legislature approved  SB2508, with a caveat of a “severability clause” saying that if any part of the law were found to be unenforceable, the rest would remain in effect.” This will send the bill back to the House, but that’s a small matter, as they will most likely pass it.

ON has responded by organizing a legal defense fund and asking for donations. They also continue to plan on meeting with state representatives, and negotiating with the city of Nashville (the Plaza is State property) for a new site. Unfortunately, the city is watching to see what the state does before it commits.

Eviction may move to the Department of General Services, and become a rules issue. A hearing is scheduled for 16 April at 1pm in Room 30. Gov. Haslam has preferred to deal with Occupy through the rule making process, and may defer the rule of law to the rule of regulations, as much as the GOP hates regulation.

Among the changes are the following concerning camping:

(m) Camping or sleeping overnight on the Plaza or Courtyard is not permitted.
1. Camping is defined as the use of the Plaza or Coutyard for living accommodation activities such as:
(i) Sleeping or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping);
(ii) Storing belongings for future use (e.g. food for consumption in the future);
(iii) Making any fire;
(iv) Using any tent or shelter or other structure or vehicle for living accommodation activities such as sleeping; or
(v) Carrying on cooking activities.
2. These activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears in light of all of the circumstances that the participants, in conducting these activities, are in fact using the area as a living accommodation, regardless of the intent of the participants or the nature of any other activities in which they may also be engaging. Read the rest of this entry →

Mardis Gras-ccupy Nashville!

7:01 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Getting in the Marti Gras-cupy Mood

Yesterday’s Occupy Nashville GA was a festive event as Occupiers celebrated Fat Tuesday, while getting down to the business at hand of dealing with fat cats and their minions. Plans were also made for a “die-in” on Legislative Plaza to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, at 12:45 Monday, 12 March.

Money Tent Pre-Money 1

Other actions include a 7 March rally at noon for “Civil, Worker, and Human Rights,” in concert with the United Campus Workers, which will “demand Governor Haslam and the General Assembly end the attacks on public workers, LGBT folks, local living wage ordinances, voting rights, immigrant rights, and our public services!” Read the rest of this entry →

Occupy Nashville: Sitting in Limbo

9:42 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Occupy Nashville 18 Feb 4

We’re gonna clean up this 1% town…

Sitting here in Limbo
Waiting for the dice to roll.
Yeah, now, sitting here in Limbo,
Still got some time to search my soul.
Meanwhile, they’re putting up a resistance,
But I know that my faith will lead me on

Jimmy Cliff

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
Mark Twain

Like a good neighbor, Occupy Nashville is still there, their days now numbering 135. And the spirit that occupies them is nothing if not resilient. Last Tuesday’s GA, I hate to admit, was a bit painful to watch as the frustration and tension of events caused some bitterness and rancor in the ranks; but they rebounded Thursday in fine fashion, handing out flowers to passersby and setting up a small tent in front of GA. What could this shift in mood be attributed to? [cont'd.] Read the rest of this entry →

Occupy Nashville: You Can Help!

3:38 am in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Occupy Naswhville GA 14 Feb. 1

The eviction bills have been added to the House and Senates agenda for tomorrow, Feb. 16, making eviction likely Thursday night. ON will be allowed to maintain a presence 24/7 as of last night’s GA, but camping will be prohibited.

Right now, ON’s main concern is finding a place for their homeless friends, whether it be renting a camping area, or aid from a local church. Valuables are being moved to a rented storage unit. They have to deal with limited resources, so any and all contributions are welcome. You can donate here.

Occupy Nashville GA 14 Feb. 2

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Occupy Nashville: Sacred Ground, Sacred Fire

10:59 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

“It’s shameful what has been taking place on the plaza, I wouldn’t want my kids to come up here, either. It’s very sad. This is a sacred ground.” Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland

Inside the Capitol Building, however, it’s been little better than an insane asylum. And the inmates are making one more concerted push to do away with the guards. HB 2638/SB 2508 are moving through the Legislature, with their next hurdle coming this Tuesday, 7 Feb. I asked Bill Howell of Tennesseans For Fair Taxation his thoughts on the bill.

Right now, it’s looking like there might be about four weeks before another showdown with the police. ON has already staked out their position, and Occupier  Lindsey Krinks’ passionate defense of ON has been garnering praise from FDL. (See my previous post for more.) Read the rest of this entry →

Nashville: Occupy the Legislature 2/1

8:01 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Wednesday, 1 February, is the day the House Judiciary sub-committee will hold a hearing on HB 2638/SB 2508, a broadly worded, vaguely inclusive bill that would make “a person’s use or assembly upon publically-owned property” a Class C Misdemeanor, subject to removal and a $50 fine.

Bill Howell of “Tennesseans for Fair Taxation” penned an op-ed in The Tennessean today, claiming the bills

would curtail the First Amendment rights of Tennesseans and deprive unhoused people of most of the few safe places where they may live.

ON has a series of actions planned, including attending the hearing, and is asking for supporters to meet in Legislative Plaza at 2:30. You can also  email Gov. Haslam and the bill’s sponsors, and call the House Judiciary Subcommittee, if you can’t be there and wish to help.

Jason and Joe from ON offer more details about the actions. Read the rest of this entry →

Occupy Nashville: Haslam’s Hatching An Egg

6:08 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

The calm between storms.

Once again Occupy Nashville labored under two extremely different opposing forces; Mother Nature and the TN Legislature. Mother Nature shot her wad early in the week, and tornado sirens blasted until 2 am Sunday night/Monday morning along with heavy rain and winds, and she followed up midweek with a slow moving heavy rain, before finally clearing up and presenting a beautiful Saturday for a GA, with a blue sky and temperatures near 50. In spite of all this, ON still sports about 40 odd tents and some 60 or so sleepers. Today’s GA featured about 30 people, with some making their way back from Occupy Congress in DC.

General Assembly  Nashville 28 Jan #1

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My Day at Occupy Nashville

5:14 pm in Uncategorized by kyushukev

Stopping by FedEx to pick up my welcoming Occupy Supply box of goodies, I proceeded to Legislative Plaza, site of Occupy Nashville to meet with and learn about the little community that could. Occupy Supply was a (very welcome) revelation to most there, as was FDL itself.

After a rough beginning, ON has managed to become the longest continuous 24/7 occupation of a single site in the country.  They’ve managed to accomplish this with grit, determination, and a very remarkable group of people.

One recent activity involved the “People’s Bribe,” in which Tennessee’s “people” friendly legislature made it much easier for those “people” to speak to them. Occupiers, some foreclosed on themselves, have also stepped up to help out some of those facing foreclosure and eviction, including camping out, holding a potluck dinner, and confronting the lawyers representing Chase bank, who are trying to put a 78 year old woman out on the street.

Support breeds support, and ON has earned positive community backing, but they still could use some help. Consisting of about 40-50 total sleepers in approximately 60 tents spread across the plaza, they also have a library, media and medical tents, a tent for guests, and a kitchen. Power is supplied by a generator (which costs about $85 a week to operate, and can only run between 5:30 to 6:00 am), and a collection of auto batteries. Food is mainly cooked with propane (open flame fires are illegal) and sometimes kerosene. They could use some decent cookware, as I was told what they have isn’t heavy enough and will burn easily and then ruin the taste of the food. Read the rest of this entry →