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Tags: tennessee | governor | nashville | autonomous zone

Tennessee Gov. Says Seattle-Like Autonomous Zone Won't Be Allowed in Nashville

Tennessee Gov. Says Seattle-Like Autonomous Zone Won't Be Allowed in Nashville

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Friday, 12 June 2020 09:27 PM EDT

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Friday he won’t tolerate the creation of an “autonomous zone” in the capital of Nashville like the one demonstrators have established in Seattle.

"As demonstrations continue, we will continue to protect Tennesseans' right to peaceful assembly, while also reassuring citizens that lawlessness, autonomous zones, and violence will not be tolerated,” Lee said in a statement prior to a scheduled protest.

“Further, Tennessee law expressly prohibits camping on state property not expressly designated as a campground area, and that law will be enforced."

The warning came hours ahead of a planned “Free Capitol Hill” protest, one of numerous demonstrations and riots that have occurred across the country following the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

It also comes after a group in Seattle cordoned off several city blocks in Seattle earlier this week to establish the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone.”

The action reportedly is to demonstrate a society without law enforcement, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has not moved against it. The CHAZ follows calls in several cities to “defund” or “disband” police departments.

A graphic of a similar “autonomous zone” for Nashville was circulated on Thursday and Friday ahead of the demonstration, the Tennessean reported.

Lee received support from Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, who suggested a law enacted after the Occupy Nashville demonstration that made it a misdemeanor crime to occupy state property could be upgraded to a felony.

“There is a difference between peaceful assembly, and lawlessness or unlawful camping, occupying, and autonomous zones on state property,” Sexton said in a statement reported by CBS network affiliate WVLT in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“I agree with Governor Lee’s decision to enforce our current laws, and the House is fully prepared to enhance this type of lawlessness to a felony before the 2020 legislative session concludes next week.”

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Politics
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Friday he won't tolerate the creation of an "autonomous zone" in the capital of Nashville like the one demonstrators have established Seattle."
tennessee, governor, nashville, autonomous zone
313
2020-27-12
Friday, 12 June 2020 09:27 PM
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