Woods has an extended excerpt from Gibbons’ press conference today. Let me just highlight this:
Well, really that’s something you need to ask General Services. I’m aware generally of the reasons and that was public safety and health conditions on the Plaza. And I am aware of the fact that representatives of the protesters themselves approached the state earlier this week asking for some assistance addressing the problems they were facing. They were concerned about public safety. They were concerned about health concerns. The policy that’s in place I think is a very reasonable policy that will allow the protesters to continue to peacefully assemble under the right circumstances. What the Department of General Services was trying to do was strike a balance to ensure they had the right to peacefully protest but at the same time address the concerns they had as well as others over public safety and health concerns. [bold is mine]
Holy shit. This administration thinks that they get to determine the “right” circumstances for peaceful assembly? That makes my blood run cold.
Oh, and then get this nonsense.
Q: Commissioner, if you follow the letter of the policy, it says the Plaza is closed at 10 o’clock. Does that mean people who attend an event at TPAC can’t walk across the Plaza afterward?
Gibbons: Well, there’s also somewhere in here it says without specific authorization. I cannot speak for the Department of General Services on that but obviously they going to take the approach where if there is an event where they want to make an exception and authorize people to be there at 10:30 or 11, well I’m sure the Department of General Service will work with folks on that.
This is so typical. I love you, Tennessee, but the amount of people who think that everything they think is wrong should be illegal, but that they should get to make exceptions for the “right” kind of people is out of control.
But please, notice that the Governor is afraid of fifty people. Other Occupies have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people. And our governor has to sneak up on fifty people in the dead of night.
But what’s worse than sneaking up on fifty people in the middle of the night is stripping everyone in the state of their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.
That hurts everyone.