Nashville couldn’t have its yearly July 4 festivities or fireworks show because of the city’s COVID-19 restrictions, but it could have teenagers marching downtown and screaming to take down the police.
Such was the case Saturday as Teens For Equality gathered in significant numbers to protest at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park. They gave speeches. They marched. They chanted about their contempt for law enforcement.
Many of the demonstrators appeared to wear masks or other facial coverings to guard themselves against COVID-19.
One speaker at Bicentennial Capitol Mall Mark, an unidentified female, proclaimed her own version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” the female said.
“And to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for some.”
Then the march began, and the protestors chanted the following slogans over and over again.
• “Brick-by-brick. Wall-by-wall. Metro PD has got to fall.”
• “Hey, hey, ho-ho. Governor Lee has got to go.”
• “Take it to the streets to fight the police. No justice. No peace.”
At one point, the protestors seemed to change course and chanted either “f*** the police” or “defund the police,” although the distinction was unclear.
Vice.com, in an article last month, could not distinguish between the two slogans either as heard during various demonstrations.
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 formally went 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.
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