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.

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