[Photo via Flickr]
Occupy Nashville will be staying put: A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday blocking a curfew that Nashville had imposed last week in order to constrain Occupy protests. Dozens of people were arrested over the weekend for defying the curfew. The decision, however, is not final. The restraining order is active for 21 days, and a new hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.
"The decision was a victory for the fledgling movement and for the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, which sought a temporary restraining order to block a curfew put in place last week."
"U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger issued the order, which state officials did not fight."
"Political expression deserves the highest level of protection and it was unacceptable for the state to suddenly shut down protesters' speech and forcibly oust them from Legislative Plaza that has long been used as a place for peaceful expression," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director at the ACLU of Tennessee."
You can read the full lawsuit here in pdf format.
"The Occupy Nashville protesters scored a big victory Monday when the state agreed to stop enforcing a new curfew. That means the protesters are free to continue camping out on the grounds around the state capitol."
"Now, there's a mood of celebration at Legislative Plaza, where the protesters say they not only won in court but they are gaining public opinion."
"Monday night the group planned its next strategy - inviting more protesters to join them now that their right to free speech has been upheld in federal court."