In light of recent legislation passed by the state legislature to restrict “camping” on state property and other actions of protest, the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition has banded with other community members “to stand in solidarity with our friends in Tennessee” with a protest at the Public Square in downtown Franklin on Monday.
For over two months, protesters have camped outside the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, some hoping to meet with the governor to discuss racial inequality and police brutality.
On Wednesday, the legislature passed a bill that made camping on state property, including the Capitol grounds, a felony. The FJEC said the protest event in Franklin is directly in response to this legislation, which it holds is unconstitutional.
“We must stand together to ensure that all of our voices are heard,” said Howard Garrett, a community activist in Franklin. “It’s disappointing that our state legislature has decided to stand on the wrong side of history. We must stray away from the systems that were built to oppress us. It is important that our voices are not silent, and we ensure that our legislators are aware of the pain that is experiencing throughout our country.”
In addition to FJEC, the protest is supported by Garrett, Franklin Community Church Pastor and Fuller Story co-founder Kevin Riggs, Franklin Teens for Justice and the Williamson County Young Democrats.
The protest will begin at the square on Monday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. Masks will be required.
“Until Black lives matter, we have work to do,” Garrett said. “Please come out with your signs and mask, and stand with us.”
To learn more about the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, visit the organization’s Facebook page.