Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy Nashville Kitchen Forced to Close

The Occupy Nashville site was today visited by the Metro division of Food and Safety Services and instructed to immediately shut down their kitchen.  A citation issued indicated the need for members of Occupy Nashville to be certified through a process that includes a class in food preparation offered by the health department in order to serve food to the homeless or general public who may come on site.

This comes many weeks into the occupation and after several earlier visits from Metro Nashville health department agents in which no such concerns were addressed or citations issued.  One is left to wonder if this is but the latest volley in the state of Tennessee's efforts to find or create any reason possible to evict the Nashville occupation protesting here in support of Occupy Wall Street. 

I'll also note the timing in another context...It was just days ago that the temporary restraining order Occupy Nashville was granted against the state in federal court became an indefinite injunction prohibiting them from evicting the group on the issue of a hastily drawn up curfew.  As I suggested in my entry here last night, there's evidence the state will quickly move to take another tact.  It continues to appear that people who make the rules do not want the protesters of Occupy Nashville to be able to exercise their 1st Amendment rights.

Also unfortunate is that this occurs as Occupy Nashville is planning a community Thanksgiving dinner on the plaza.  The health department advises that the next scheduled class isn't scheduled until January.  Members of the movement are reaching out to caterers and other food service personnel in an effort to solicit a remedy for the situation.  Occupiers need to be able to eat.  If you can help, please see contact information at the Occupy Nashville site.