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Franklin considering rule changes on public demonstrations, protests

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Franklin residents have held a variety of downtown demonstrations over the years, with different groups raising their voices to oppose tax hikes, support immigrant rights and show solidarity with victims of racial inequality through vigils and protests.

In April, they held signs at the city square to protest a controversial Brownland Farms development proposal ahead of a Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. Aldermen unanimously rejected that proposal — several officials cited public outcry as the reason.

Fast forward to June 14. Franklin aldermen discussed revising city ordinances, a move which would affect when, where and how people hold demonstrations downtown and throughout the city.

Hundreds gathered in Franklin to remember George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor during the Jesus and Justice candlelight prayer vigil at the Missionary Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Franklin, Tenn. New Franklin protest rules could prevent residents from holding similar evening demonstrations on public property.

“We as the city have the ability to navigate and to manage time, place and manner that those demonstrations happen,” said city administrator Eric Stuckey. “Never, ever, ever what is said.”

From 2020:‘Chip has to go’: Protesters want Confederate monument removed in Franklin

Previously:Franklin comes out in the hundreds for End White Silence rally

The biggest proposed changes: No protests after sunset; no weekend protests; and leave the bullhorns, loudspeakers, etc. at home.

The proposed changes would update a 2020 city ordinance.

At a work session, Stuckey and city attorney Shauna Billingsley presented the Board of Mayor and Aldermen with proposed changes, plans they said were based on feedback from residents and demonstrating groups.



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