State put off portable toilet request for Occupy Nashville

State put off portable toilet request for Occupy Nashville

November 23rd, 2011 by The Tennessean in Local - Breaking News

An arrested woman watches from the ground of the Legislative Plaza in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, while one of her fellow protesters is led away by state troopers. It was the second straight night of arrests after Republican Gov. Bill Haslam imposed a curfew on areas surrounding the Capitol in an effort to disband a three-week demonstration by Wall Street protesters. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

By Nate Rau, The Tennesseean

NASHVILLE -- Top state officials put off requests for portable toilets at War Memorial Plaza several days before Gov. Bill Haslam's administration cited unsanitary conditions as a reason for implementing a curfew that prompted dozens of arrests.

Email records reviewed by The Tennessean indicate that both state and Metro officials received requests for portable toilets in the days preceding the arrests of Occupy Nashville protesters. The toilets were never installed until after the controversial arrests.

The Nashville edition of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which opposes "corporate greed and corporate influence on the political process," began in early October. By the end of the month, state employees who work around the plaza were regularly complaining about unsanitary conditions, including feces and urine on the plaza grounds, according to the records.

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