Over at the City Paper reporter Steven Hale waxed melodramatic:
While Occupy factions around the country have continued to face harsh crackdowns, the Nashville encampment has endured. Having declared multiple victories over the state, their claim on the so-called “People’s Plaza” remains intact. And for the time being, Nashville remains occupied.
The Nashville occupiers have endured without ever taking on the machine of Metro Nashville. So, how can reporter Hale conclude that Nashville itself remains occupied? A state-owned square remains occupied in a national organizing context that may be shifting away from tent cities in municipal parks.
The Tennessean account is at least more realistic about the intentions of the occupiers in Legislative Plaza: ON is not focused on separating corporate influence on Metro at all. Instead, they are holding out for January, when the General Assembly will once again convene. Yet, the question remains, why call it Occupy "Nashville"?
If I may deviate from the media script for a second: before Occupy Nashville appeared on the scene demanding the separation of corporations and government while leveraging no observable separations, 11,000 Nashvillians organized to leverage a referendum to check Mayor Karl Dean's unilateral grab of the community planning process on the question of the Fairgrounds. The Mayor was set to make a lot of influential suitors in various industries richer at the expense of the democratic process. That was until he was turned back convincingly both by petition and by the ballot itself.
Those dissenters did not receive the sympathetic media attention Occupy Nashville has in the waning days of 2011, but they were no less grassroots, no less democratic, and no less significant than ON. I have been waiting for the Occupy movement to have an impact on Nashville remotely as large as the Fairgrounds preservationists did. I'm still waiting.