As Nashville Officials Force Many to Sit Out July 4, Social Justice Demonstrations in the City Continue


While many people sit out July 4 due to Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s COVID-19 restrictions, social justice organizers are planning yet another rally in the city Saturday.

Teens For Equality will meet at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park Saturday at 4 p.m. Central, members of the group said on their Twitter page.

Members of Black Lives Matter Nashville, relaying Teens for Equality’s information on their own Facebook page, told demonstrators to expect a busy day.

“Fill the streets with pride flags, and the afro/pan-African flags. Or a flag to embrace your culture, such as the flag of your country. We will be taking a longer route than last time, and will be holding a moment of silence for the recent deaths of Elijah McClain, Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Hambricks, Joques Clemmons, and many more victims of police brutality,” according to the Facebook post.

“We will stop at the @peoplesplazatn where there will be water, snacks, first aid, and medics. We will also have picture frames of the previous names mentioned, where you can honor them by dropping off a note, flowers, stuffed animals, candles, and whatever you deem fit! We will then end at our starting point, have a finishing word, there you will find voter registration and food trucks, which you can also access in the beginning.”

As The Tennessee Star reported Friday, staff at the Beacon Center of Tennessee said Mayor John Cooper shows double standards and enforces bad COVID-19 policies upon the city. Beacon is a right-of-center think tank.

“The Mayor has been completely inconsistent and derelict in his duty when it comes to enforcing existing rules, allowing some businesses to openly flout the law and marching with large groups of people himself in violation of his own orders,” Beacon CEO Justin Owen said.

“Despite claiming that the purpose of the original shutdown was to flatten the curve, the mayor keeps moving the goalposts. Even though city officials have stated that they are very comfortable with the hospital capacity, the mayor is still going to punish law-abiding, rule-following citizens and struggling businesses by reverting to a previous phase.”

Citing an increase in COVID-19 cases,  Cooper said at a press conference Thursday that the city will go back to the second of its four-phased rollout to reopen the city. Nashville will formally go from Phase Three back to Phase Two on Friday. The city will remain in Phase Two for the next several weeks, Cooper said.

But Owen, in his press release, said Cooper needs to reevaluate his actions.

“Between this, an inconsistent mask mandate that exempts some but not others, and the unbearably massive tax increase, Mayor Cooper needs to think about the harm he is doing to all Nashville citizens and the future of the city before it is too late,” Owen said.

Many socially-driven businesses and activities that opened in Phase Three will now have to temporarily close, including event and entertainment venues. Nashville’s limit on gathering size is now 25. Restaurants will move back from 75 percent capacity to 50 percent capacity, as permitted in Phase One, Cooper said Thursday.

Metro Parks facilities, opened in Phase Three, will remain open, including dog parks, skate parks, basketball courts, and playgrounds. And recreational leagues and pools are still allowed, Cooper said.

Additionally, all bars in Davidson County, known as limited-service restaurants that derive the majority of their revenue from alcohol sales, will close for a minimum of 14 days beginning Friday, Cooper said.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]






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One Thought to “As Nashville Officials Force Many to Sit Out July 4, Social Justice Demonstrations in the City Continue”

  1. Julie

    I see this morning that Governor Lee has issued an executive order to allow a path for the mask mandate nonsense to creep into other counties. I hope the mayors in these counties understand that these areas are loaded up with people who wanted to get away from what they were seeing in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. Incident management after such a decree would not only be needed but they may actually find themselves voted out of office the next go around.