Occupy Nashville threatens to occupy Tennessee Capitol, Pilot restrooms

Occupy Nashville threatens to occupy Tennessee Capitol, Pilot restrooms

January 31st, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Occupy Nashville protestor Duncan McAfee relaxes on an air mattress after checking it for leaks in a fountain at Legislative Plaza in Nashville, Tenn. Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011. Between 80 to 100 Occupy Nashville protestors spent the night on Christmas Eve.

Photo by The Tennessean /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Occupy Nashville protesters are putting Gov. Bill Haslam, state lawmakers and the highway patrol on notice that, if they are if evicted from Legislative Plaza, they will seek to occupy the state Capitol, vacant housing and even restrooms at the Haslam family-owned chain of truck stops.

In an "open letter," the protest group denounces legislation designed to oust it from the plaza, where members have camped since October. The bill is sponsored in the House by Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland.

"If you pass this bill to evict Occupy Nashville and criminalize our un-housed friends, then you have chosen to escalate the conversation," the letter says. "If you pass this bill, we will prevail in the courts and on the streets. If you pass this bill, you may expect actions like this:"

The letter goes on to list protesters moving to occupy the state Capitol, other public property, foreclosed homes and, "we will occupy the restrooms of all Pilot Travel Centers."

The national Pilot Flying J Travel Centers chain is owned in part by Haslam and other Haslam family members.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.