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Regional & National

Occupy Nashville bill up in both chambers

February 16th, 2012 4:11 am by Staff Report

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal aimed at stopping Occupy Nashville protesters from staying overnight on the Capitol complex comes before both chambers of the Legislature Thursday.

The measure up in the House and Senate would make it a misdemeanor to lay down "bedding for the purpose of sleeping."

The proposal refers to items associated with camping, "including tents, portable toilets, sleeping bags, tarps, propane heaters, cooking equipment and generators."

Under the legislation, violators would be fined as much as $2,500 and face up to nearly a year in jail.

Protesters have camped at the plaza since early October. At one time there were as many as 60 tents, but that number is now less than half.

Protester advocates say the legislation is a factor in the reduction.

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