Friday, February 17, 2012

Metro Police shut down single Occupy Nashville tent protest on the Courthouse Square

According to Occupy Nashville protester, Mark Hamill, when he tried to occupy the Metro Courthouse Square, Metro Police sent 7 cops to remove him from his outpost on municipal public property. This is how he related his story to Tennessean reporters:

An attempt to move the Occupy Nashville protest from the state Capitol to the city’s Public Square ended after several hours early Tuesday morning.

One tent was set up on the lawn of the city government headquarters Monday night. Early Tuesday, a Metro Nashville police officer told tent dweller Matt Hamill a local ordinance barred camping there. Hamill packed up his tent and left ....

Protestor Jason Steen said Metro Police arrived at the Public Square shortly after 5 a.m. and asked Hamill, the lone protestor there, to leave. Steen said the encounter was amicable and Hamill left without incident.

Occupy Nashville's legal team is looking into the required permits to move the protest to the Public Square

Right idea, too little and too late for execution.

The Metro police response was overkill: it looked more like a drug bust when all they needed to clear a guy in a tent out was a couple of constables in one cruiser. The response indicates to me that Metro government had set itself, had Occupy Nashville targeted city hall, to act heavy-handed, to be overbearing just as other cities forces have been.

Now ON does not have the bodies both to occupy the Courthouse and to maintain a beachhead at the General Assembly. It is unfortunate that Occupy Nashville (that is, Nashville proper) will probably only amount to one tent hauled off willingly by a guy who didn't want to be subdued and arrested by a half-a-dozen-or-so police officers.

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