Monday, October 31, 2011

In Occupy Nashville Crackdown, State Refuses to Explain Random Enforcement of Curfew

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 2:01 PM

In case anyone's curious why Gov. Bill Haslam has allowed the Occupy Wall Street supporters to re-establish their encampment at Legislative Plaza, well, it's a state secret. Here's the official response to that question delivered only moments ago by Safety Department spokeswoman Dalya J. Qualls:

As for the curfew enforcement, the curfew remains in effect and is intended, in part, to help ensure the safety of the protesters. We urge them to adhere to the conditions of the policy. For security reasons, we cannot comment specifically on the THP's enforcement efforts, but the goal remains the same and that is to provide for the safety and security of everyone on the plaza.

That's a baffling response, to put it politely. Let us get this straight. The protesters asked for protection against trouble-making street people. In response, Haslam ordered the protesters arrested for their own safety? Sort of like taking someone into protective custody, we guess. As for why the state now is enforcing the curfew randomly—two nights on, two nights off—there's no comment. The state cared about the protesters' safety on Thursday and Friday but not Saturday and Sunday?

No matter. This probably is a moot question—as the lawyers say—because this afternoon, we expect federal Judge Aleta Trauger to slap an injunction on the state to prohibit any new arrests.

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