Who Are They Trying to Influence?
The Occupy Nashville crowd has been given until 8pm tonight to clear out of the Capitol
Since the Constitution guarantees the right of protesters to peacefully
assemble and "petition the government for a redress of grievances," it
is fair to ask: If the Occupy Nashville protesters continue to be camped
out at Legislative Plaza, what are they asking the Tennessee General
Assembly specifically to do? Have they presented a list of their
collective demands to Governor Bill Haslam, Lieutenant Governor Ron
Ramsey, or House Speaker Beth Harwell? Are the demands of the protesters
things that a State legislative body has the constitutional authority
or ability to act upon? Perhaps most importantly, are many of these
protesters even aware of the fact that the Tennessee General Assembly is
a part-time legislature, that most of its members have a life outside
of the Capitol and that, by the way, they aren't in session in October?
It would appear that the answer to all of these questions is no.
"Occupy Nashville" might see an occasional legislator duck in and out of
a committee meeting from time to time, but if they are looking to wield
influence, camping out at the Capitol in the middle of October isn't
the way you do that in Tennessee-the General Assembly isn't there.
Labels: Duh, Federal politics, Local politics, Political correctness, Tennessee politics