From June 12 to August 12, the People’s Plaza held a 24/7 protest outside the Tennessee State Capitol in opposition to police brutality and systemic racism.
Organized by alumni of Fisk University, the alma mater of John Lewis and Ida B. Wells, their demands were simple: 1) Governor Bill Lee agree to discuss systemic racism with activists; 2) remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard, from the State Capitol; 3) fire Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson for obstructing reform within the department.
During these 62 days, approximately 300 arrests were made at the protests. Chief Anderson resigned on June 18. The Forrest bust is currently in the process of being relocated to the State Museum. Governor Lee refused to speak with the protestors.
I joined the People’s Plaza on Day 1 — marching, chanting, sleeping on the concrete at Ida B. Wells Plaza. Throughout the occupation, I captured every moment I could.
The following is a glimpse into history.