This time it’s Ben Garrett. He says:
There are limits to everything, as there very well should be. In the case of the Nashville protestors, they were not prohibited from protesting or assembling themselves at the Plaza during the day. They were simply told that they had to go home at night and come back the next day, a demand that they chose to defy. There were various reports of criminal activity and littering on the Plaza, which calls public safety into question.
This is wrong. They were told they’d have to apply for a $65 permit every day and carry a million dollars in liability insurance (which can run you hundreds and hundreds of dollars). That’s not “simply” being told to go home at night and come back the next day. That’s “no one can protest at night” and “no poor people can protest during the day.” Couple that with the fact that they blatantly and forthrightly said that they’d let TPAC visitors and other people who were deemed okay trespass on the Plaza at night and you have a pretty arbitrary rule obviously designed to affect only Occupy Nashville.
But I also keep seeing this idea that there were “various reports of criminal activity and littering.” The only verified reports of criminal activity were against the Occupy Nashville people. If these are the only reports, then Haslam is rounding up and arresting crime victims solely because he’s annoyed that they’re crime victims. This is a worrying precedent.
But let’s talk about these “various reports.” Why hasn’t anyone named names? Why isn’t there one person, one person at all to come forward and say “I’m John Smith and I saw human poop” or “I’m Representative Smith from Smithville and I saw people having sex.” Or whatever. I want to know who actually complained and what their specific complaints were.
Because otherwise, it’s the same people who insist that Jonathan Meador was arrested for being drunk in public, even in the face of video in which it shows him being arrested for… oh wait… they have to come up with something… better hit him with resisting arrest, who are insisting that there’s actually some kind of public safety issue.
And guess what?
Those people’s credibility is shot.
So, I’m pretty flabbergasted at the amount of journalists who want to keep finding reasons why maybe this wasn’t quite so egregious as it looks.
I will try to see things from the Haslam administration’s perspective when the Haslam administration stops lying about what their perspective is. But that’s just me.