TN Occupy Notes: Haslam Back to the Middle, Etc.

But, on the other hand…
After uncharaistically bold initial decision to have Occupy Nashville protesters arrested, Gov. Bill Haslam has now reverted to a more typical position, observes Jeff Woods.
He now acknowledges both sides in the controversy and casts himself as caught in the middle.”
“You know, this is one of those that there’s a lot of opinions on. I have a lot of people who thought that when we went in and tried to implement a curfew that we were wrong,” the governor told reporters last week. “I’ve had a whole lot of people say I can’t believe that’s happening on that property. If I went and set up a tent there four weeks ago, would you have let me stay? So there’s a lot of passionate feelings around it on both sides.”
… In a reversal, Haslam now has embraced transparency and inclusiveness in developing a new set of regulations that he hopes will pass court muster.
“There’s a rule-making process that we need to go through, which we will do,” Haslam said. “We’re going to involve a lot of different people in that discussion. What is the right use for state property, whether it be on the Capitol grounds or the plaza or anything else? We intend to get a lot of input from constitutional lawyers and users of the space and other folks, so we can then start the rule-making process.”

A professorial point of view
Jon Shefner, head of the University of Tennessee’s sociology department, specializes in studying how economic policies affect political actions and how poor people around the globe advocate for change, reports the News Sentinel.
That’s why he’s been investigating Occupy Wall Street — the movement for economic equality that began in New York and has spread to hundreds of cities across the country, including Knoxville — and believes it’s time for people to take notice.
“Those same people who admire the Tea Party for speaking up should be equally as admiring of the Occupy Wall Street folks who are doing it with much less link to a political party and much less economic pull,” Shefner said. “No problems get solved by remaining silent.”

Meanwhile, in Chattanooga
Though Occupy encampments have been swept away across the nation, Occupy Chattanooga protesters are staying in place on the courthouse lawn for the moment, according to the Times-Free Press..
Hamilton County commissioners, who said Tuesday afternoon they were poised to take action, didn’t bring up the matter at Wednesday’s commission meeting.
In turn, Sheriff Jim Hammond said his deputies would continue only to enforce state laws.
“The commission has not made any decision giving any direction,” Hammond said.

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