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BLM protesters leave Tenn. capitol for first time in 62 days

Protesters who have been outside the Tennessee capital for 62 days announced they will leave to move to a “more sustainable format.”
Demonstrators take part in a protest Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., demanding...
Demonstrators take part in a protest Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., demanding the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from inside the State Capitol. The bust of the former Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader has been the center of controversy for years. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)(Mark Humphrey | AP)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 3:53 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Protesters who have been outside the Tennessee capitol for 62 days announced they will leave to move to a “more sustainable format.”

The group, which calls itself “The People’s Plaza” says several of the protest’s goals have now been met, including the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust, and the resignation of Cheif of Metro Nashville Police, Steve Anderson.

However, the group says their desire to meet with Governor Bill Lee to discuss systemic racism in Tennessee was not met.

“We have made enormous progress. Within the first two weeks of our protest, MNPD Chief Anderson announced his resignation. Although Governor Bill Lee has refused to speak with us, showing his disdain and disregard for his constituents, we know he has felt the pressure of our protest. He called a meeting of the State Capitol Commission to vote on removing the NBF bust from the State Capitol building. This vote passed and will now be reviewed by the Tennessee Historical Commission, where we continue to apply pressure,” said a release.

On Wednesday, lawmakers passed a law that made camping outside the capitol a class e felony. According to a report from News Channel 5′s Phil Williams, lawmakers said the purpose of the legislation was to prevent the plaza outside the capitol from becoming “an autonomous zone.”

News Channel 5 and Phil Williams contributed to this report.

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