Administration Files Rules to Ban Camping (and Occupy Nashville) at Plaza

While the Legislature is likely to complete its work on a bill that would prohibit camping on the Legislative Plaza Monday night, the enactment of rules with the same objective – launched by Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration — is progressing more slowly.
Formal notice of the proposed rules for use of the plaza area – called War Memorial Plaza in the rules – was filed on Friday. The notice and proposed rules may be found here: LINK.
The rules are fairly detailed, running seven pages. There is a prohibition on “camping or sleeping overnight,” the focus of the Legislature’s proposed new law, but the rules go far beyond to address an array of other activities.
The Haslam administration began the rulemaking process after dozens of Occupy Nashville protesters were arrested in October, only to be freed after judge noted there appeared to be no law or rule on the books that they violated.
Following publication of the rules with notice, there’s now a period during which comments can be offered and some other formalities before they can be put into effect.

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