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October 31st
9:12 PM

State Concedes Defeat in Occupy Nashville Battle

In a surprise victory for Occupy Nashville today, the state of Tennessee declined to defend the governor’s crackdown on protesters at Legislative Plaza and accepted a court order banning more arrests—at least for now. Federal Judge Aleta Trauger said she’d already decided to issue her temporary restraining order anyway, even if the state opposed it.

"I can’t think of any more quintessential public forum than the Legislative Plaza," she said, calling the governor’s actions "clear prior restraint of free speech." She said she was "most gratified" and "not too surprised" that the state was conceding… >continue<

October 30th
12:41 PM
11:49 AM

Occupy Nashville Braves Elements Undeterred and Undisturbed

After waiting eight hours in near-freezing temperatures for state troopers to arrest them for the third time in so many days for violating curfew, Occupy Nashville protesters were left undisturbed on Legislative Plaza last night.

“We didn’t come here to talk about guaranteed rights about freedom of assembly,” Occupy Nashville activist and organizer Michael Custer said of the movement.

The real message of the movement is to call attention to and rally against “legalized corruption” in American politics. He said protesters plan to return to that message once the group reestablishes a presence on the Plaza.  >continue<

update: Makes top of Google News Top Stories

October 29th
1:55 PM

2nd Night of Arrests at Occupy Nashville | 2nd Release by Magistrate

…just after midnight some 20 Occupy Nashville protesters linked arms, awaiting arrest in violation of the Capitol’s newly enacted curfew. A 10-minute warning was issued at approximately midnight, and some 60 to 75 Tennessee state troopers stood ready to enforce it.

Among those under arrest is evidently Scene reporter Jonathan Meador, who has been covering the protests. A fellow reporter asked the trooper arresting Meador if he really intended to lock up a journalist there to cover the events. According to the reporter, the trooper replied, “You want to be next?”  >Nashville Scene<

The Tennessean also kept running updates throughout the night after a second round of arrests:

Early Saturday morning, Magistrate Tom Nelson told troopers delivering the protesters to jail that he could “find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza.” >continue<  |  >video<
2:46 PM
"You have no lawful basis to arrest and charge those people. For three weeks they sat up there and protested under no admonition whatsoever that they’re violating state policy with regard to camping out in Legislative Plaza or that they’re committing a crime. When the state issued its memorandum [Thursday] imposing a curfew and changing the rules right in the middle of the protests - they can do that but they have to give them adequate opportunity to comply with those rules."
8:54 AM

Occupy Nashville Evicted from Legislative Plaza
Charley Bravo, 10/28/2011

Troopers with dogs moved in at 3am to evict Occupiers under orders from Governor Bill Haslam. Hundreds of protesters gathered for a General Assembly earlier amidst a heavy media presence generated by State threats to enforce an ad hoc curfew.

The Assembly came close to authorising legal aid to begin a process of perfunctory compliance in obtaining a permit but the motion ultimately failed. A protester “Michael”, explaining his block, convinced many that signing up and paying for rights of peaceable assembly and speech would be to surrender to the very corruption of democracy and problems driving the protests.

Though fascinating and charged, the discussion may have been moot as the decision to evict the occupiers late at night had apparently already been made.

Nashville Public Radio reports:

Katy Savage says what followed was relatively peaceful.

“At the point where the police surrounded us, those who were prepared to risk arrest sat in the middle and sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ together while the police approached them. Many of them went limp when the police were grabbing them and cuffing them, and it was completely nonviolent.”

Nashville’s Channel 4 reports that a judge has said the protesters should not be charged. Prior to last night’s eviction, the Occupying GA agreed that all free citizens supporting the occupation would arrive again at 7pm on Friday.

update: comments by the Judge

October 27th
6:31 PM

State Threatens to End Occupy Nashville Tonight

The demonstrators say they were given an ultimatum last night by the state government: Leave by 8 p.m. Thursday [Oct 27th] or go to jail…

TV news is loving this story today, with one reporter breathlessly predicting “a showdown with state troopers.” The start of Occupy Nashville drew some 400 people. Only a few dozen regulars have stuck with it, but this publicity is likely to draw a crowd to Legislative Plaza tonight. Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement have been pepper-sprayed, beaten and arrested around the country since this all began in Manhattan on Sept. 17. Nashville could become the next ugly scene. >continue<

State Imposes New Curfew  |  Poll strongly favours Occupiers

Unconfirmed word on the street has it that normal law enforcement in the vicinity of Occupy Nashville’s encampment at the Legislative Plaza has been cut back or removed in a "practice of zero enforcement", allowing problems to go unchecked such that “concern” over safety can subsequently be used as a fig leaf.

Intermittent Live Stream at Legislative Plaza

October 22nd
11:00 PM
"'Course it could be one of Howard Beal's humanoids, copying and pasting while displaying loadz of attitude but not much else. Most of the “historical” narrative is shot though with a ridiculous level of nefarious motives imputed to the actors. Then a large majority of their points, even if they were valid, wouldn’t necessarily count as reasons to get rid of the Federal Reserve altogether. On top of this, you got no apparent caution that a theory that explains too much reveals itself as non-falsifiable, and thus a weakness. Plug all that into the persistent expression of puritanical, fundamentalist underpinnings, where everything has some muck defying simple answer based on a halo of “inviolable laws” which, if only implemented according to a formula, solves everything with a Disneyland ending - and, well, …if cult has a smell."
—  Citizen Zed, remarking on the  "End the Fed" cult
October 16th
10:21 PM

October 15th Occupy Nashville

The Occupiers took up temporary residence at the downtown, courthouse public square in order not to interfere with a book fair on the Legislative Plaza, where most of their activities have taken place to date. In the last photo many book fair attendees can be seen watching a march go by. Their general indication of approval was also reflected by vehicular traffic, honking their horns in sync with chants of “We are the 99%”.

photos: Citizen Zed for ZeitVox

October 6th
5:07 PM

Occupy Nashville 10/6/11 in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

October 4th
3:14 PM

Is it Soup yet?

Citizen Zed - 10/4/11

It seems natural to fault Occupy Wall Street for the lack of a cohesive, focused message. Surely the question animates many among the growing ranks. Failure to anneal an ostensibly mass democratic outpouring into a cutting edge, yeah, that can happen. Crucibles are made, and then you make your own.

Now, thanks to the NYPD corralling and macing defenseless women, here comes another. It’s all stoked with the immature frequency of "Is it Soup yet!?" (a dated but apt analogy). The media are now paying attention and bang: the almost indignant all-cap immediacy of “WHERE ARE YOUR TALKING POINTS?” This is the default signature of serious analysis.

These guys are serious journalists when they’re hobnobbing on Air Force One, kept close; they want that marketing package so they’ll know what to talk about. Now that you’re on the radar, it’s your duty to serve up instant answers. You gotta tack your theses on the church door, feed them the line, because real journalistic decisions have to be made - about how to play at serious reporting for key demographics.

Don’t expect a spirit akin to scientific inquiry, the labor of digging into sinews for clues, or any form of patience prevailing. Aside from a few, such as Ezra Klein who recently pegged a Tumblr for having aroused his serious interest, it’s equally immature to immediately expect media at large to get its hands dirty with journalism. Few caught the jasmine scent of Tunisia or sorted out the deeper heat behind Bouazizi’s fiery example, much less intuiting an impending threat to Mubarak.  

Occupy Wall Street and its provincial spawn wrestle with a question. A recent planning event for Occupy Nashville splayed out the tensions in a well mannered way. Many believed it was obvious and rational to demand the removal of money from politics, even if this implied difficult hurdles of constitutional interpretation and thus drafting and/or supporting amendments. If we need the emergence of a rational democracy, if we need a framework wherein any number of other critical concerns can be advanced, then does not the tissue of democracy have to be inoculated against monetary infection? This line of reasoning felt confident that a substantive demand was, nevertheless, equally loose and adroit enough to unify the whole under a rational and publicly understandable umbrella. And yet, another contingent was not so keen on cashing out a process of consensus building so quickly. They wanted more respect for the very democratic advent where they found themselves together. They urged against being shoe-horned too quickly into the structure of a singular demand, especially amidst an intuition that all the hurry was a reactive gesture to a foreign demand.

It had all the awkward beauty of a first date, played out en masse. At the time I found myself more on one side, trending toward thinking the other naive. But I realized the reticent side had won a subtle victory even in being outnumbered, for the focused contingent showed a mature recognition that, after all, the actual work of democracy had just begun - the real face to face spirit was there and alive precisely in this torsion.

"It’s a beautiful struggle, beautiful struggle
The tracks end here but the train’s gotta run”

The soup analogy may yet be most apropos, albeit, it may be more akin to a supersaturated solution. With a patient building of density, with molecular forces jostling together in question, proposition, listening and answer, an alchemical bit of magic may well supervene. If you have both temerity and patience to work yourselves into the right state, a seed crystal is bound to drop.  Ideas can become real in the wake of a strange labor. Be ready when it happens, because then the labor turns to keeping it real.