This morning I wrote:
Dear Governor Haslam,
Setting time limits and monetary requirements on when people are allowed to gather on taxpayer-funded state property to exercise their first amendment right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances is unconstitutional.
Having people arrested for not following your unconstitutional rules is morally bankrupt and bad manners.
Shame on you. You know better.
October 28, 2011
Thank you for writing to Governor Haslam and sharing your concerns regarding the Occupy Nashville protests. Listening to and learning from Tennesseans is very important to us, and we appreciate hearing from you.
We all have a right to peaceably assemble, and those assemblies should be safe, sanitary, and non-destructive.
Criminal activity and deteriorating sanitary conditions over the past several days on Legislative Plaza created an environment that is unsafe for the protestors, state employees, and everyone who lives, works and enjoys downtown Nashville. Therefore, permits will be granted to protestors on a daily basis from 9:00am until 4:00pm.
While this administration wholeheartedly supports freedom of speech, assembly and petition, it is our responsibility to keep people safe on state property. Abiding by these hours allows for a safe event, while ensuring the people’s right to peaceably assemble.
Again, thank you for writing. We look forward to working with you and all Tennesseans to make our great state an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
The Governor’s Office of Constituent Services
I notice that you didn’t address how you’re charging Tennessee taxpayers to peaceably assemble.
Also, when the crimes are being committed AGAINST the protesters, infringing on the rights of the protesters rather than protecting them reeks of victim blaming.
I saw on the news last night that THP will provide officers for free for entertainers and athletes who need their protection.
It is a shame these poor kids don’t warrant the same consideration. Instead, they get arrested.
Is it just because they lack a bus?