Unlike Wisconsin, Tennessee dealt decisively with union protestors who tried to disrupt a committee meeting for, of all things, not taking up legislation. The legislation was pro-union and did not come up in committee. Consequently, several under-employed twenty-something paid activists began a protest. They got hauled off to jail.Ron Ramsay, the Tennessee Lt. Governor, God bless him, said, “The right of all citizens to protest and assemble peacefully is sacred in the State of Tennessee. However, this General Assembly will not be intimidated by nomadic bands of professional agitators on spring break bent on disruption. We talk through our differences here. Tennessee is not Wisconsin.”What really is so funny is that the activists decided to protest after the bill they were waiting for did not get brought up. WKRN in Nashville has the details more accurately than most of the reports out there.
Most demonstrators left the hearing room after about 30 minutes, but a small group sat on the floor and tried to lock arms to keep from being removed.Troopers pulled the holdouts out of the room one by one, while lawmakers, lobbyists and other observers looked on. The activists, members of the American Federal of State, County and Municipal Employees, were at the capitol to see the Commerce Committee vote on a bill that would make changes to political contributions from labor unions.They became irate and outspoken when it became apparent the bill wasn’t going to be heard.
In other words, they were there looking to disrupt the meeting and with their intended excuse not tee’d up for them, they did it anyway.The most striking part of this are the ages of the protestors. I would not be surprised to learn that they are paid professionals, like the lefties who get paid by left-wing groups to call up talk radio shows.
They have been identified as 30-year-old James Sledge, 25-year-old Jeffrey Lichtenstein, 22-year-old Paul Garner, 25-year-old Bennett Foster, 19-year-old Leah Shoaf, 25-year-old Ashley Henderson and 26-year-old Sally Joyner.
Of course, unlike getting hung up on by Rush Limbaugh for being an idiot, these kids get to go directly to jail, via night court.
At 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, those protesters were still waiting to go through night court in Nashville.