Did The Haslam Administration Blink?

Credit: The Occupy Nashville Facebook Page

What happened last night?

I’ve been thinking about that the THP did not make any arrests after two evenings of blowing into the Legislative Plaza and throwing zip tie handcuffs about with wild abandon.

Although I have been assured that the TPAC gala had nothing to do with the Occupy Nashville arrests, it still looks a bit curious. I will trust those in the movement that have told me that TPAC and OWS folks have been very friendly with each other.

Honestly, I don’t blame the THP although they really seemed into it and apparently forgot about that everyone has some access to instant news these days. People were not arrested while the sun was shining, folks. When Jonathan Meador was arrested Saturday morning, they might have forgotten that every good journalist worth their weight has a flipcam these days. (And if this video constitutes resisting arrest, I am on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.)

Any police force usually has orders from someone. So my question is did the Haslam Administration blink last night. Let’s remember that he defended his actions to the Tennessean and said that he ordered the night time arrests. And let’s not forget that our governor’s words and actions do not align in the least.

Which brings me to Rep. Mike Stewart who has put on his own set of kicking boots and is saying that this has to stop.

State Rep. Mike Stewart, the Democrat from East Nashville, came to Legislative Plaza today to show support for Occupy Nashville. Later, he released a statement saying the governor’s crackdown “should be condemned by all Tennesseans, regardless of political persuasion” and recalling the sit-in protests against segregation in this city in 1960.

Go Mike Go!

Protest is an important part of American History. Without protest, the United States would not exist, we would still be a colony. Our forefathers left England in protest over religious freedom. The Lunch Counter Protests are another example where four men (long before social media) ignited a national wide debate over civil rights which took several years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted. Another example would be the Freedom Riders. Let us not forget that the Freedom Riders inspired rural Americans to join in the cause as well. The movement swelled over time and accomplished what was needed at that moment of history.

Protests are important.

Nothing will bring people together than their constitutional rights being trampled on for what appears to be political posturing.

So did the Haslam Administration blink?

I think they did, but I still am unconvinced that they fully realize that their actions inspired people to continue rather than scared them away. I can’t help but wonder who will be the sacrificial lamb in his administration for this obvious blunder and faux pas that created passion for the Occupy Nashville cause instead of destroying it, which is what they intended to do.

So the next step is whether Haslam and his cronies will back up admitting they were wrong, or will they continue to make arrests?

Either way, they lose in the court of the public’s eyes.


4 comments for “Did The Haslam Administration Blink?

  1. October 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    In every instance where police force has been used against the protestors — in New York City, in Oakland, in Denver, and here in Nashville and everywhere else — it has backfired. It has drawn attention to the protests, it has been like the yeast which makes them grow.

    Had Haslam decided to ignore the protests, let them have their place on the public plaza, I’m pretty sure they would not be front page news right now. I’m pretty sure the national news media would not be talking about Occupy Nashville right now.

    Haslam screwed up. To his own detriment, he screwed up.

  2. October 30, 2011 at 10:08 am

    He screwed up big time. I agree wholeheartedly.

  3. October 30, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I am taking a wait and see approach to whether Haslam realized his mistake and is not going to go for further arrests, or just didn’t want THP throwing peaceful protesters to the ground in front of the moneyed gala folk (some of them might donate elsewhere).

  4. Debby Merritt
    October 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

    You tell ’em, Trace.

Comments are closed.