Tenn. agrees to stop arresting Occupy protesters - WKRN News 2

Tenn. agrees to stop arresting Occupy protesters

Posted: Updated: Oct 31, 2011 4:13 PM CDT

The state of Tennessee has agreed to stop enforcing a new curfew used to dislodge Occupy Nashville protesters from the grounds around the Tennessee Capitol.

The protesters went to federal court Monday seeking a temporary restraining order against Gov. Bill Haslam saying the curfew and arrests of dozens of supporters violated their rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.

"The litigation was filed to protect the rights of everybody in free speech and political activity at legislative plaza," explained Occupy Nashville attorney David Briley.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Marett told Judge Aleta Trauger the state was giving up on efforts to keep people off Legislative Plaza between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Trauger granted the protesters the order since the state wasn't contesting it.

State troopers used the curfew put into place on Thursday to arrest 29 protesters early Friday and 26 people early Saturday.

Demonstrators told Nashville's News they are thrilled with the ruling.

"Everyone is just very happy and very excited that their first amendment rights have been restored," protester Megan Riggs said.

The governor's press secretary told Nashville's News 2 Monday evening, "Our priority continues to be the safety, security and sanitary conditions of the area."

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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