Tennessee Capitol protests lead to call for more security

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Protests around the state Capitol in Nashville have some Republicans calling for a crackdown on demonstrators and for resurrecting more stringent security requirements for entering the legislative office complex.

Democrats are pushing back against those calls, arguing that access to legislators shouldn’t be curtailed only because many of the protesters oppose the policies of Republican President Donald Trump on issues including immigration, race, abortion and LGBT rights.

The latest clamor for enhanced security follows allegations that protesters disrupted state business and vandalized a legislative aide’s flower vase.

But those claims are under dispute because of questions about whether the interrupted press conference should be considered official legislative business. And as the Nashville Scene first reported, the vase was inadvertently knocked over, most likely by a TV cameraman covering the protesters.