Bill Aimed At Occupy Nashville Passes House

Feb 16, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  A proposal aimed at stopping Occupy Nashville protesters from staying overnight on the Capitol complex has passed the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Eric Watson of Cleveland was approved 70-26 after a lengthy debate Thursday morning. The companion bill was to be heard on the Senate floor, but the upper chamber adjourned before hearing the legislation.

Many occupy protesters have already left the plaza, but organizers don’t seem especially worried by the legislature’s efforts to dislodge them. Occupy spokesperson Jason Steen says the group is discussing other options.

"We're looking at occupying public spaces at public buildings; less corporate areas like private homes for foreclosure. We could occupy those as well."

The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to lay down "bedding for the purpose of sleeping."  Violators would be fined as much as $2,500 and face up to nearly a year in jail.