In reaction to protests, Tenn. bill would increase penalties for illegal camping, graffiti

Jun 16, 2020


Tenn. House Speaker Cameron Sexton

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s House is seeking to significantly increase penalties against demonstrators who violate certain state laws.


The legislation is backed by House Speaker Cameron Sexton, a top Republican in the GOP-dominant Statehouse.


Sexton promised to bring the bill after a handful of protesters announced they would gather outside the state Capitol over the weekend and claim the area as an “autonomous zone.”


The group echoed similar sentiments of a much bigger action in a Seattle neighborhood that’s become a protest center against police brutality and racial injustice.


The state Senate currently has no floor session schedule for the remainder of the week. It is unclear if the Senate would consider any such bill passed by the House.