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5 Protesters Arrested Outside Governors Meeting

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5 Protesters Arrested Outside Governors Meeting

CREATED Jul 12, 2014
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Governors from across the country are in Music City to tackle key issues including education, health care and jobs. Saturday, protestors gathered outside the Omni Hotel demanding to be a part of the conversation.

Legislative Plaza served as a meeting point for the hopes and dreams of dozens who gather under a collective front called the Freedom Side. With signs and tape over their mouths they walked in silent protest through downtown to the Omni, straight for the National Governor's Association meeting.

“We just want to talk to the Governors about four issues,” protestor Jayanni Webster said, “The criminalization of black and brown youth, living wage jobs, equal education and democratic rights.”

Protesters were greeted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, who created a barrier to prevent them from entering private property. After learning no one would come out to speak to them, five protestors tried to walk inside and were arrested and charged with trespassing.

Hours later, a judge threw out all of the charges.

“Some people (don’t have) mammas in the morning. Some people (don’t have) daddies at night because their families got deported. That (isn't’t) fair,” protester Brittney Perkins said emphatically. “My best friend he’s in jail for six years. He got a daughter that's about to grow up without him for six years. That (isn’t) right.

For Perkins, this cause is personal.

“I'm in college. I can barely afford it. That (isn’t) right. I'm just trying to be a better person, start a business, do a non-profit, give back to my community,” she said tearfully. “I can’t even do it because I don’t (have) the money. That (isn’t) right.”

The passion is all too familiar to Ernest Rip Patton

“They just want a representative to come out and have some dialogue with them,” he said. “And that's all we wanted was some dialogue.”

The civil rights leader helped desegregate Nashville in the 1960s.

“Just keep on pushing and be heard,” he said about his advice to the new generation.

While pushing, there will be push back but protesters said their fight is far from over.