In response to Governor Bill Lee’s extension of the stay at home order until the end of April, #FreeTN events have been scheduled for this weekend in key cities across Tennessee.
Organizer Kim Edwards, a Nashville mom of three, is perhaps an unlikely person to be in such a position, but was selected as such by her friends also concerned about the extension of the statewide stay at home order.
Edwards’ husband is a wedding DJ and they open their home for Airbnb rentals, both of which are completely shut down with the stay at home orders issued by Lee and Mayor John Cooper.
Edwards told The Tennessee Star that it’s not just their personal livelihood, but that of the Nashville area which is highly dependent on tourism and other large scale events which have been forced to be cancelled.
She told The Star that the message being received is that their entire future is no longer essential. To the contrary, Edwards points out, “Everyone is essential.”
“This whole movement” Edwards explained about #FreeTN, “is that we need to have better balance. Everyone’s life is important, and there is a way to protect people’s safety that doesn’t infringe on our constitutional rights.”
Also involved in the movement, Edwards told The Star, are libertarians, medical freedom advocates and small business owners, all of whom agree that there has been overstepping by government.
The message of the #FreeTN movement is that Tennessee is ready to reopen while, at the same time, making efforts to take care of those that are risk, utilizing measures such as special hours at grocery stores and isolation until herd immunity is developed.
Edwards strongly makes the point, “Social distancing cannot be the new way of life for Tennesseans, as Governor Lee has said, until there is a vaccine,” adding, “That just can’t happen.”
“We’re all responsible for our own well-being; you’re not responsible for my well-being,” Edwards says.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve gotten to this place,” concludes Edwards.
#FreeTN events are scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, April 19 and will be held at the main government building at the state’s major cities. Details for these developing Facebook events in each city can be found here:
A statewide #FreeTN event will be held at the Tennessee State Capitol on Monday, April 27 at 10 a.m. Further details can be found here.
Another group, Liberty Ignited, says that through the stay at home orders “government has violated our inherent and constitutional rights to live as free, self governing citizens!”
Liberty Ignited has organized nationwide “freedom alliance” events at all state capitols on Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m. for “a show of civil disobedience that we will not be caged in our homes any longer!”
As The Star reported, the #ReopenTennessee movement started Monday on Twitter, and a “Protect the 1%, and let the 99% return to work” petition to Governor Lee was started Monday by a Knoxville physician and surgeon. The petition can be signed here.
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