Mercy Junction Center
Front and back of her that he will they send them time in burns tennessee and it is getting national attention from a protest that with how their over the weekend.
Ms. foster with mercy junction is here wit us this morning for coming in this morning thinking about what happened over the weekend my the renaissance conference which ha been held at the tennessee in the testes that part now the park for this is the seventh year and happened again this weekend and tennessee's kent state parks academy, destinatio location, or watch the premise and not to leave another group on that's really connected with some violet even more violence in tears and coming back and jean and that's been made possible by the laws that are legislatures of past making it welcoming and comfortable and safer than an asset parks and american renaissance conference returned again this year and is done in the past several different faith organizations, antiracist groups went to montgomery bell state park to protest their being in our state park was the environment there like this we can the environment there was unreal it was infuriating.
I've been going to rebel to that protest for seven years now and in the past we have been the residents of tennessee.
The citizens and we've been able to use our park and to express our first amendment rights with out restrictions.
We could go into the and and use the restrooms. we can eat at the public restaurant this year.
We arrived and there were barricades everywhere.
We were funneled through a pan that a final at the end of which i we were searched and wanted by department of corrections priso guards on tbi park rangers and as state police were all there and they would not allow us to take our bags and had a tiny little parts.
It was like this fake and it was basically a wallet with a shoulder strap and had my keys in my life in and adamic heart that the way that that was all it would hold and they would not let me take my little bitty person and i we were denied the ability to brin any kind of shelter into the park for camping which we had in the past, we have no tables, no chairs.
We were so we can we apply for a permit and the things were denied out in the permit, we cannot use the public restrooms and we cannot even th public restaurant so we were in a pin alternate it was totally different than the protest that you've been to before.
It is different than present.
It was totally different than anything i've ever been to montgomery bell state park.
But the really disturbing thing about this is in the last year.
This has become very normal in tennessee and this is the way the state receives antiracist and antifascist protesters.
We saw this in memphis and we saw this in knoxville, et our public spaces are shut down and the public in the community and the residents are shut out and not these are escorted in by nationalists are escorted in under police escort.
Given our public facilities are public restrooms are public meeting places and we are denied shelte, food, water, restrooms, and the free-speech areas.
What do you guys help happens on meeting fo what was your next step in what is mercy junction do here locally in the tennessee valley and our next step as far as this particular process is is a lot of conversation happening about the aggression from the police and about the denial of our first amendment right.
And there's a lot of different organizations talking about wha is our next app and we want some kind of redress before these before the second group of nazi comes the tennessee in june.
We also want to remember that our state legislature is really complicit.
I mean it.
Our legislator is under the control of nazis about the premise that they're not out right not to since the premise during control.
I can even pass a resolution denouncing nazis.
They also passed a bill last year that allows secrecy around state park reservations so that antiracist and antifascist protesters cannot find out easily when these groups were coming to town.
We really need to like our legislature and we need to think about who needs t be replaced.
There and if folks would like to learn more about mercy junction went to the chai and percy jackson is an interfaith congregation and we are in highland park and our work is around hospitality peacemaking, justice and equality and they can visit our facebook page or call us at 423- 521-0642