Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney weighs in:
The arrests and removal of persons from Legislative Plaza this morning were the result of numerous complaints from the protestors themselves of deteriorating conditions on the Plaza. While every American has the right of assembly and free speech, there is a line that should not be crossed. When a line of public safety is crossed, action is warranted.
Governor Haslam's administration was well within their right to impose a curfew on Legislative Plaza after mounting complaints by ‘Occupy Nashville’ protesters and local residents of personal theft, sexual obscenities, and defecation on the grounds by individuals staying for extended periods of time within Legislative Plaza. This was a matter of personal and public safety.
I commend the professionalism of the Tennessee Highway Patrol for the manner in which this situation was handled. The protesters were given fair warning of the imposed curfew and given additional time to leave, even after the Highway Patrol arrived.
It is astonishing to me that any individual, or group, would attempt to politicize this incident and argue against implementing a curfew around the Plaza when the personal safety of individuals is being compromised and sanitary conditions had plummeted to such egregious levels.