NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — March is proving to be a challenging month for the Occupy movement in Middle Tennessee.
When Tennessee State Troopers arrived well before dawn this morning to enforce a new law governing camping on state property, they found a single protester waiting for them on the legislative plaza.
Dozens of protesters occupying about 60 tents filled the plaza just two weeks ago. Roughly half moved out shortly after the Tennessee General Assembly passed a measure in late February making it a felony to camp on state property. Most of the remaining protesters left the plaza this past Thursday as a state deadline for eviction approached.
Occupy member Elie Whitely says protesters will continue to meet on the plaza several nights a week and are discussing the movement’s next steps.
"We're going to be talking about what the movement's phase two looks like, how we can still make connections with community organizations, (and) how we can prevent more of these illegal foreclosures in the community."
This past week a Judge cleared the way for a court case to go forward against Occupy Murfreesboro protesters. A handful of activists briefly camped out on the city’s Civic Plaza last December and were issued citations by city police.