published Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Activists stage protest outside governors meeting in Nashville

Michael Sampson, of Tallahassee, Fla., protests outside the hotel where the National Governors Association convention is being held Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville.
Michael Sampson, of Tallahassee, Fla., protests outside the hotel where the National Governors Association convention is being held Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — Activists have staged a protest outside the Nashville hotel where the National Governors Association is meeting.

Members of a group called the Freedom Side Collective on Saturday waved signs, gave speeches on a bullhorn, and chanted and sang from a covered sidewalk outside the entrance of the Omni hotel.

They opposed private prisons and deportations of people in the country illegally. They also called for ending zero-tolerance policies in schools that can lead to incarceration of students.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman said five protesters were arrested for trespassing, but they were later released when a judicial commissioner declined to sign the warrant.

The heavy law enforcement presence surrounding the event kept the protesters out of the hotel, and there was no noticeable disruption of the governors meetings inside.

More than 50 activists traveled from states like Texas, Florida and Ohio to participate in the protest.

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