Nashville police arrest 21 protesters near state capitol

Nashville police arrested 21 protesters near the state Capitol complex on Monday, contending they were obstructing public passage through city streets, reports The Tennessean.
 In their second of six weeks of scheduled demonstrations, protesters were taking part in the Poor People’s Campaign, a movement that has branded itself as “a national call for moral revival” that builds on the work of the civil rights-era initiative by the same name.

“We are here in a spirit of nonviolence,” said the Rev. Jeannie Alexander, director of No Exceptions Prison Collective in Nashville prior to the march, during which she was among those taken into custody. “This is a war, and this is a very old war, and if you don’t understand this is a war, that’s because you occupy a place of privilege.”

Alexander described the war as one “against black and brown bodies.”

…As dozens of protesters made their way from Legislative Plaza down Charlotte Avenue and 5th Street bound for the Justice A.A. Birch Building, officers following alongside on them announced that anyone unwilling to be arrested must move onto the sidewalk. 

Some did, though a group of protesters wearing yellow arm bands who had chained themselves together continued marching as they sang “we have nothing to lose but our chains.”

“This group had the ability to disseminate its message last Monday, and they are free to continue to disseminate their message in a lawful manner, but will not be permitted to block the free passageway of their fellow citizens,” said police spokesman Don Aaron after the arrested protesters had been transported for processing.

…Each of the 21 were charged with obstruction of a passageway, while one of the demonstrators was also charged with resisting arrest. Ranging in age from 18 to 71, eight were from Nashville, six from Memphis, four from Chattanooga, and one each from Cleveland, Cordova and Ringold, Georgia.

20 Responses to Nashville police arrest 21 protesters near state capitol

  • Diana Page says:

    I am proud of Jeannie and the others for throwing light on our city and state.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      These people are such a bore, but since we are in the “throwing” mode, I believe that after one or two arrests these leftists should be thrown in jail for increasing lengths of time for each succeeding offense during which time they can be offered civics classes to teach them how to seek to influence the government legally. When the sentences get long enough their boring demonstrations will at least have the virtue of being legal and not obstructive while allowing our police to tend to more important things.

      • Scott Banbury says:

        Stuart, Jeannie is an accomplished citizen lobbyist and has played a major role in the passage of many laws. She needs no education in civics and certainly not from you.

      • Bob Fischer says:

        “Amendment I

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        You know, I went through the whole constitution and couldn’t find a thing on someone’s right to drive by the state Capitol. Did you ever think that the whole point of a peaceful demonstration might be to block the road? Think the founders didn’t think of that?

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          And when they bloc the road and deprive taxpayers of the use of the road they’re butt should thrown in jail for doing so. When we are dealing with serial offenders their jail sentences and/or fines should be increasingly harsh until they decide to acquire a new hobby. The founders were concerned with government power depriving citizens of the rights contained in the First Amendment. There is no evidence that they sought to protect every manner of protest conceived of by man.

  • JudyR says:

    No one is above the law. Our constitution gives us the right to free speech but it does not allow us to break the law. Thank you to the rest of the protesters who made their voices heard and followed the law.

  • James White says:

    Sad thing is the dupes don’t know they are being used. Good For the Police!

  • Eddie White says:

    I believe in the right of protest. I don’t believe in the right to block streets and stop traffic. It is dangerous to the protesters and impedes the right of the passengers in the vehicles to travel safely. What happened last week in Nashville should not be allowed to happen again. Evidently Metro police got the same message.

  • Susan Veale says:

    We are in dangerous times, with the rights of individuals being diminished little by little. The demonstration was a non-violent one, unlike many of the demonstrations in the 1960’s. Are you all so willing to live in a police state where protest is not allowed?

  • James White says:

    Susan, you may need to review some history of the 1960’s ‘non-violent’ demonstrations. You are incorrect. We live in a state of freedom that allows protest, not protest that break the laws of society. So we can all come over inside your house and protest????

  • Leslie Parsley says:

    I support the protesters and their mission but I wish they had chosen to sit down on the sidewalk in a human chain – leaving a few gaps here and there for people to get through. A silent protest always sends a more powerful message and generates more sympathy than breaking the law and shouting. Of course, there are always the “unteachables” who are tone deaf and have hearts of stone, but I think it’s a waste of time and energy to even try reaching them.

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    We had to arrest those people… its not like it was something important like an anti-state income tax protest or something like that….

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I was one of those patriots who protested against the income tax. Unlike these protesters who purposely broke the law we scrupulously obeyed the law so there was no reason to arrest us. You are correct insofar as the unconstitutional imposition of an income tax on the citizens of Tennessee is more important than whatever these protestors were protesting against, or for, (it’s not entirely clear) but that’s irrelevant. Thankfully our continued efforts after our successful protests resulted in passage of a constitutional amendment prohibiting an income tax in Tennessee so there will be no need for us to protest again.

      • Cannoneer2 says:

        I remember a window being broken at the Capitol during the tax protests. That’s not “scrupulously” obeying the law. That said, I am glad that the tax protests were successful, and thanks on a personal level for your being there. My two points are that one protest might mean more to one person than another, and that both protests have an equal foundation of legitimacy. I think law enforcement might have gone a bit too heavy with the Poor People.

  • Bob Fischer says:

    The Tennessee Constitution guarantees a wealth producer’s (farmer, craftsman, factory worker etc. ) and the primary distributor of that wealth to be free from being taxed. The constitution makes no mention of a banned income tax for those whose occupation involves the simple transfer of wealth (bankers, brokers, landlords, investors, etc.). For a guy that claims to be a constitutionalist, you sure don’t spend much time reading and studying your documents.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I guess you kind of won one in this silly game of “gotcha” you apparently like to play. Cannoneer2 referred to “an anti-state income tax protest” and I and everyone else knew exactly what he meant so I responded to him with that knowledge simply intending to communicate with him and everyone else who read our exchange. I get no thrill playing “gotcha” so it didn’t occur to me to lecture him that we were not protesting an “income tax” because transfers of wealth would still be subject to tax etc. etc. instead we were protesting imposition of a tax on payroll prospectively etc. etc.

      I envy you Bob Fischer because you apparently are a man with one hell of a lot of time on your hands and you have managed to maintain a youthful prospective on life. A VERY, VERY youthful prospective bordering on childishness. Only such a man is equipped to play “gotcha” with your zeal and skill.

      • Bob Fischer says:

        Ah, the old Sarah Palin defense. Whenever you’re confronted with the inherent self-serving inconsistencies of your opinions, you scream about the elitist liberal intellectuals playing “gotcha.”

        Here’s a news flash. Reading constitutions, contracts and religious books and actually paying attention to the words and meaning means one aspires to a basic level of integrity. If maintaining that integrity is “childish” in your view, so be it. At least I’m not lying out of both sides of my mouth when I say I support our Constitution.

  • Keith Richardson says:

    I just threw up a ltitle in my mouth at Bob Fischer’s adulation of wealth. Perhaps I could suggest some scripture, but then only Christians would understand.

  • Keith Richardson says:

    I apologize. My ignorance is showing. I do know, however, that justice is highly valued by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. I have much to learn from people of other faiths. Just not those who worship Mammon.

  • James White says:

    Protests are tools of the left.

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