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 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 hatesregulation.
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 →
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.
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
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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