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Natalie Allison @natalie_allison
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Demonstrators are occupying the entrance to CoreCivic, a Nashville-based private prison operator that contracts with ICE. They've shut down multiple entrances, set up tents & replaced CCA/Tennessee flag with "No borders." Employees are just starting to arrive.
They say they're staying out here until CoreCivic is abolished. Demonstrators told me they're prepared to remain out here for days. They also have a trampoline out here. They've been out here for about an hour and cops are just now arriving.
"We have no intention of leaving," said the Rev. Jeannie Alexander. "It's a nonviolent, peaceful resistance." Look closely and you'll see a person dangling and taking photos from a very tall tripod if they made. That person is up there to stay, Jeannie said.
Police just told a lawyer to inform the group CoreCivic is willing to press charges since they're on private property. Jeannie Alexander said protesters "do not recognize this as private property" and that the space has now been appropriated for the people of Tennessee.
Ashley Dixon is a former CoreCivic guard who worked at Trousdale Turner in Hartsville, TN. She left around eight months ago. "I quit because I witnessed two people die due to medical neglect," she said. Two of the tombstone signs are for them, Jonathan Salada and Jeff Mihm.
There are about 10 CoreCivic employees waiting by their cars in a parking lot across from the entrance. I talked to a few and some of them seem pretty freaked out and unsure what they're supposed to be doing.
About a dozen cops are here now. More employees arriving. This is at the CoreCivic office's main entrance, but two parking garage entrances are also being blocked by demonstrators.
A couple officers are taking a look up at the woman hanging from the tripod. I asked the cop if they would be able to remove her and they said they had "the proper equipment and training" to do so. Group members said it will be extremely dangerous.
At parking garage entrances around the corner, some demonstrators have locked their arms into barrels filled with concrete. The police are still waiting around, appearing to be waiting on some kind of order. Sheriff's office is also here.
The tripod tactic has been made popular by environmental justice activists. It's a way to occupy a space for longer by requiring officers to spend more time figuring out how to bring the protester down. #ResistICENashville trained on how to assemble it.
It's hard to see because of the harsh sunlight, but @MNPDNashville's special operations team is here. They have a mobile adjustable ramp truck they're going to use to bring down the person who is hanging. It seems like they're preparing to remove demonstrators.
A huge bus from the Davidson County Sheriff's Office is here and an ambulance just arrived. The bus looks like it's used for transporting detainees. Protesters have moved their trampoline in front of the tripod to block the truck when it comes over.
It's a mobile adjustable ramp system, AKA @MNPDNashville's MARS truck. I also did not know about its existence until today.
Here the cops are trying to figure out how they're going to get these people up who have locked their hands inside of barrels full of cement weighing hundreds of pounds.
The folks in the @Tennessean newsroom are taking my reports from out at @CoreCivic this morning. Here's the story on what's going on with #ResistICENashville today. Arrests still have not begun.…
They're taking communion now. The video starts just after, but she began the Lord's Prayer with "our Mother." #ResistICENashville
It appears the first arrest just happened. This woman was taken away in handcuffs. No one seems to know why she was picked out, because all the other protesters are still blocking entrances.
Cops have repeated this message about trespassing on private property about five times now. Telling media to get behind crime scene tape around perimeter now, so I'm expecting them to begin making more arrests.
Police are saying "if you do not disperse you will be charged with a crime." Still repeating it over the loud speakers. @CoreCivic employees have gathered to watch.
Cops are looking through all of the tents now to make sure no one is in there. I see several people from one of the parking garages detained by the sheriff's bus. Protesters outside the tape are shouting "shame on you" now. #ResistICENashville
Wow. The Rev. Jeannie Alexander was just carried away and loaded into the back of a truck by her hands and feet. #ResistICENashville
"Green vests are the new white robes," protesters are chanting outside the police tape, along with "the cops and the klan go hand in hand." #ResistICENashville
Well this lady was about to play protest songs when she prefaced it by saying not all cops are bad. The demonstrators are now yelling at her. #ResistICENashville
Just overheard the singer at this #ResistICENashville protest say "I have a song about Marsha Blackburn." She said it is "very country" as she is hoping it will go viral.
It's nearly 1 p.m. and it does not appear any @CoreCivic employees have entered the building today. Some #ResistICENashville demonstrators have been arrested, but others chained at the garage entrances are blocked from view now by police vans and no one can see what's happening.
It's hard to hear over the AC system nearby, but there have been power tools going for an hour or more now where the protestors locked themselves to cement-filled barrels. The cops have blocked the view with vans.
Officers just arrested this guy for crawling onto the stone wall to see what was happening with the power tools behind the vans. #ResistICENashville
He was also just carried by his hands and feet into a cop car. Police told him to get down from the wall, which he did. Then they arrested him for trespassing since he was on @CoreCivic property. #ResistICENashville
Police have managed to cut out more of the protesters and arresting more people. I just saw them load into a van Ashley Dixon, the former @CoreCivic guard who quit 8-9 months ago. She is wearing her old uniform today.
They're finally getting to the woman hanging from the top of the tripod. They've asked her over a loudspeaker to let herself down. Two fire trucks and a police ramp truck are here. Protesters are yelling for cops not to touch the poles and break it. #ResistICENashville
Cops have put a ramp up to where she is. Looks like they are trying to talk to her. This woman has been dangling from the 20+ foot tripod outside @CoreCivic for 9.5 hours, since around 5 a.m. Protesters are chanting "Julie" now. #ResistICENashville
They got Julie Henry off the swing up there and dragged her down to arrest her. They're now carrying her. by her arms and legs off the truck. #ResistICENashville
All right, everyone. I've been here nine hours. I'm heading back to the newsroom. @CoreCivic told me employees at this office were advised not to report there today, but that they "continued with normal operations companywide."
This isn't me talking in the video lol
At least 19 people were arrested outside @CoreCivic today, Nashville police say, but we may learn that number is higher. No one has reported being injured, despite power tools and large trucks being used to facilitate the arrests.…
A statement from Nashville police chief who is not happy about today's @CoreCivic protest. He said demonstrators' actions "can only be interpreted as a deliberate and calculated measure" to waste public resources. 90 cops responded. He calls for "commensurate consequences."
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