NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In a stance against police brutality and the display of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the Tennessee State Capitol, a group of lawmakers, advocates and protesters gathered to voice a message.
“We will not give up,” said Venita Lewis, a Nashville activist.
The demonstration comes less than 24 hours before the Capitol Commission is set to vote on whether to ask for a waiver from the Tennessee Historical Commission to move the Forrest bust to the state museum.
“We have a diverse crowd out here saying to the Governor to consider the move of the country. It’s not erasing history, but it’s allowing us to put the bust in a place where we can give it context of everything that happened to black folks in this country,” said Rep. Harold Love, Jr.
The group of several Nashville social justice organizations including Black Lives Matter, also protested what they call aggressive behavior from Tennessee state troopers.
“Governor Lee wants to push the narrative that he is perfectly fine with protests, but he just wants to keep law and order. But that’s not true. Law and order has been broken continuously,” said Jay Terry, a protestor who has camped outside of the Capitol for weeks.
Terry and others who have camped alongside her say they have been physically attacked and aggressively arrested by state troopers.
“A state trooper pushed me off the wall and broke my arm,” said Terry, “On a previous day when I came here. I tried to enter the plaza as it is my right to do so. And a trooper slammed me on my face and I got a concussion.”
While they say the conditions have been scary and sometimes unbearable, they say they will not stop until change is made.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of community unrest across Middle Tennessee: