Scientology Protesters Assaulted in Nashville
Nashville, TN: Protesters were assaulted by security police on a public sidewalk in Nashville while protesting the opening of the new Nashville Scientology center on 8th Avenue in South Nashville. The protesters, who were peacefully gathering on a public sidewalk, were approached by five security police who contested their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and present their message of concern. The group which was assaulted has been gathering on a monthly basis and holding vigils for over a year to remember Lisa McPherson whom they call a "victim of Scientology." In the video, presented here on Tennessee Indymedia, the protesters are say they were confronted and verbally harassed by the police without provocation.
According to protesters present at the event there were no permits granted to close the sidewalk on the 1000 block of 8th avenue south on the day of the protest and organizers said they spoke with members of public works and notifications in the Tennessean to confirm that the street closure for 8th avenue south was on the 24th and not on the 25th which was the schedule day of the protest and vigil. The protesters, who refer to themselves as 'Nashville Anonymous' said that it was not clear where the security officers came from who confronted them on the day of their scheduled public protest and that in a year of previous peaceful protests they had never been the victims of aggressive behavior, threats or unlawful detainment on the part of metro police or Vanderbilt which has a security agreement with Metro for the area of music row where the Scientology Center used to be located.
For more information on previous demonstrations by Nashville Anonymous please visit the following Tennessee Indymedia stories: