Haslam: Curfew, arrests, necessary for safety

Haslam: Curfew, arrests, necessary for safety

November 1st, 2011 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

State Police arrest Occupy Nashville protestors early Friday morning Oct. 28, 2011 at the site where a few dozen Wall Street protesters have been encamped for about three weeks. Authorities began moving in early Friday using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents. (AP Photo/JOHN PARTIPILO\ - THE TENNESSEAN)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Gov. Bill Haslam says a curfew and the arrests of dozens of Occupy Nashville protesters was an attempt to make the grounds around the state Capitol safe.

The Republican governor spoke with reporters today, a day after state officials agreed to stop enforcing the curfew.

The protesters went to federal court on Monday seeking a temporary restraining order against Haslam, arguing the curfew and arrests violated their rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.

State Attorney General's Office Senior Counsel Bill Marett announced at the beginning of the hearing that the state would not fight efforts to halt the policy.

Haslam said today that the non-action was not an admittance of a mistake, but simply an agreement to a temporary restraining order.