3 Memphians arrested at Occupy Nashville protests

(WMC-TV) - Three Occupy Memphis protesters arrested in Nashville were back in Downtown Memphis Saturday.

The three Memphis residents were taken into custody and charged with criminal trespassing after Governor Bill Haslam's administration enacted a new policy enforcing a 10:00 p.m. curfew on public spaces around the State Capitol.

Protesters were released after being held for close to six hours.

The protesters said they traveled to Nashville knowing what might happen, but said their cause is greater than any consequence.

About 20 tents have been set up across the Main Street Mall in Downtown Memphis.  Protesters said that although the movement in Memphis has been peaceful, Occupy Nashville proved to be a much different experience.

"The cop, after I had a conversation with him, said, 'you basically have five seconds to choose whether you want to go or I'm going to arrest you,'" said protester Elizabeth Drake.  "And I said, 'all right, just arrest me.'"

"One protester was pulled up by his face by two officers, others were being dragged towards to the bus once they were zip-tied," said protester Alexandra Pusateri.  "I got up and put my hands behind my back.  I said, 'I'm not resisting arrest and I don't have any weapons,' and I walked with the officers to the bus."

Protesters compared their arrests with the Occupy movement to that of the civil rights and women's suffrage movements of the 1960s.

"The civil rights and the women's suffrage and human rights in general never ended," said Drake.  "The fight is continuing and it will continue until the issue has been addressed in completion."

All three protesters will have to travel back to Nashville for the November 18 court date, where they face charges of criminal trespassing.

As of yet, no curfew is being enforced in Downtown Memphis.

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