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The Anatomy of a Protest

The Anatomy of a Protest

馃殰 Middle Tennessee farmers take to the streets 路 AG goes to SCOTUS 路 Watching the Watchmen 路聽Who can vote 路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

The Tennessee Vols became the first number-one seed to win the College World Series since 1999 last night, fending off a late Texas A&M rally to come out on top 6-5.

Also, Axios reported yesterday that Donald Trump is in talks to speak at July's Bitcoin Conference. If you're interested in attending, use our discount code "PAMPHLETEER" to get 25% off your ticket. Ticket prices will slowly increase as the conference approaches, so get on it now if you want to go.


The Tennessee State Fair is still six weeks away, but last Friday, the field by the James E. Ward Agriculture Center in Lebanon looked like it was already in full swing. More than thirty-five local farmers were behind the wheels of their John Deeres and Kubotas ready to make the 8:30 a.m. trek from the fairgrounds to the Wilson County Courthouse. They were showing up en masse at a Planning Commission meeting that would decide the fate of Tuckers Crossroads, the farming community they call home. 

鈥淚 am not a professional protestor by any means,鈥 Jack Pratt, the 48-year-old owner of two farms in Tuckers Crossing said. He has worked the land that his family bought shortly after WWII ended. When he got wind that Texas-based company Hillwood鈥攆ounded by the son of former presidential candidate Ross Perot鈥攑roposed building a warehouse distribution campus on a 1,400-acre parcel it owned, he decided that it was time to do something. 鈥淚f you don鈥檛 act, you don鈥檛 get to comment,鈥 Pratt said.

Inspired by the farmers who protested the EU鈥檚 new climate rules last year as well as the American Agriculture Movement鈥檚 opposition to the federal government鈥檚 subsidy policies in the late 70s, Pratt huddled with his neighbors to send a message to the Wilson County Planning Commission about Hillwood鈥檚 proposal. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 want to see Tuckers Crossing turn into that,鈥 Pratt said. 鈥淪o, we thought we all could maybe get together and take our tractors to town.鈥

Pratt鈥檚 idea especially resonated with Michael Swope, 42, who moved to the area after fleeing rural Washington state鈥檚 increasingly restrictive farming regulations. 鈥淚 thought I鈥檇 gotten away from all of that when we moved to Tennessee,鈥 Swope said. 鈥淚 didn鈥檛 want to see it happen again.鈥

Though the residents of Tuckers Crossing are reluctant to credit one person as the leader of their efforts, they all agree that the development site鈥檚 fate is especially important because Tuckers Crossing is one of the last undeveloped rural areas in Wilson County. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the suburban county that borders eastern Davidson County has seen the largest influx of new Middle Tennessee residents.

Less than twenty minutes from downtown and boasting a host of amenities, it鈥檚 also undergone an identity crisis that forms the heart of the battle over Tuckers Crossing. Such is especially true given Metro Nashville鈥檚 sustained hemorrhaging of domestic residents as crime, the woes of the flailing public school system, and the cost of living in the city continue to mount. 

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馃敧 SCOTUS Takes The Case Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court agreed to review Tennessee鈥檚 law banning "gender-affirming" medical treatments for minors. Shortly after the announcement, Attorney General Skrmetti reflected on the monumental decision. "We fought hard to defend Tennessee's law protecting kids from irreversible gender treatments and secured a thoughtful and well-reasoned opinion from the Sixth Circuit,鈥 he said in a statement. 鈥淚 look forward to finishing the fight in the United States Supreme Court."

In an interview with the Pamphleteer a month ago, the AG was optimistic about the opinions he received during proceedings. 鈥淲e filed an emergency stay motion with the Sixth Circuit, and got an opinion saying states do have the authority to regulate, limit, and prohibit pediatric transgender treatments,鈥 he told us. 鈥淲e got an even better opinion from Chief Judge Sutton when they went back and heard the case more thoroughly.鈥

This is the first time that America鈥檚 highest court will consider the constitutionality of a statewide ban on juveniles receiving puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgeries for the purpose of gender transition. Back in May, Skrmetti anticipated the potential importance of the case. 鈥淥ver and over, the federal courts had held that states could not pass these laws,鈥 he said. 鈥淲e were the first state to win鈥.If the US Supreme Court takes this case, it's going to be the leading case bringing clarity to how the Constitution applies in gender identity cases.鈥 MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃攷 Who Will Watch the Watchmen? Yesterday morning, Mayor O鈥機onnell attended a pastor鈥檚 breakfast, where he was grilled about his support for the Community Review Board. 鈥淒o you believe that the Community Review Board should have every power that鈥檚 legally available to them as it stands right now?鈥 asked Alisha Haddock, Chair of the CRB. 鈥淲hat we have is a very conservative look and read of the law and the ordinance where we cannot get much done.鈥

According to WKRN, Mayor O鈥機onnell 鈥渄oubled down鈥 on his support for the CRB, and stood by the independent investigation he called into retired MNPD officer Garet Davidson鈥檚 61-page complaint鈥攂ut not without expressing some concerns about the whistleblower. 鈥淗is first stops were conservative talk radio, and I would go ahead and venture that is problematic,鈥 he told attendees. He also restated his commitment to making every legal resource available to the board as they negotiate a memorandum of understanding with MNPD. 

Hours later, the Community Review Board met for their regular monthly meeting, where Haddock sought clarification on the status of the MOU. 鈥淪o this morning, I had an opportunity to speak with the mayor鈥 and he stated that we have an approved first draft of an MOU?鈥 she posed as a question towards board member Andrew Goddard. It was then clarified that the only approval had come from the board. 

According to the discussions during the meeting, the CRB鈥檚 proposed MOU has been sent to both MNPD and Metro Legal for review. While Law Director Wally Dietz has yet to weigh in on the draft language, MNPD has curated a new committee of department representatives upon the request of the CRB. Assistant Chief Dwayne Greene, Deputy Chief Tommy Widener, and Lieutenant Jerry Hertenstein have been put forward to assist in negotiations with the board鈥檚 lawyer, Frank Brazil. Before they moved onto the next agenda item, board member Walter Holloway expressed concerns over the selection of Assistant Chief Greene, and the body agreed to look into potentially switching him out. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃棾锔 We Should Let the Whole World Vote Only citizens of a country can vote is a pretty straightforward, uncontroversial statement. Nonetheless, a letter signed by Elections Coordinator Mark Goins and delivered to over 14,000 Tennessee residents is raising the hackles of progressives. The letter asks the recipients to make their citizenship status clear ahead of November鈥檚 election. The list of recipients was based on those who had interacted with the Department of Homeland Security while not registered as US citizens.

Critics have declared the letter an act of intimidation, pointing to language that notes voting as a non-citizen is an offense punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. To that end, Councilmembers Sandra Sepulveda and Delishia Porterfield directed recipients to an ACLU intake form, presumably to gear up for a lawsuit. 

Last year, Sepulveda made a point of emphasizing that 鈥渞esidents鈥 (not citizens, mind you) 14 years and older could vote on how to allocate $10 million in leftover ARPA funds through an initiative called Participatory Budgeting. 鈥淲e've had a lot of discussions about the integrity of the ballots,鈥 then-Metro Participatory Budget Chair Jason Sparks said during deliberations in May of last year. 鈥淲e've really thought a lot about this鈥 because we also want to make this available to people that aren't citizens that just, you know, live in our community.鈥 What does it matter if non-citizens vote, if neither they nor actual citizens bother to show up? The city spent half a million dollars and only netted 13,365 votes ($374 per vote). DAVIS HUNT


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Off the Cuff


Our recommendations to counteract the endless scrolling.

The Fall Guy (Premium VOD) Ryan Gosling stars as a frosted-tipped stuntman whose misstep on his last big movie led to both a broken back and soul. But when his old boss (Ted Lasso鈥檚 Hannah Waddingham) calls up out of the blue to offer him work on his ex-girlfriend (Emily Blunt)鈥檚 directorial debut, not even a kidnapping plot involving the Sydney underworld and a drug-addled A-Lister (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) can keep him down. Armed with a firecracker script and awe-inspiring practical stunts, it鈥檚 a tribute to Hollywood鈥檚 working class that reminds us of what a star-powered blockbuster movie should be. Do what you have to do, but there鈥檚 still a few chances this week to catch it on the big screen.

Free to Choose (Prime) Back in 1980, PBS was the kind of channel that would give economist Milton Friedman a 10-episode TV show, and America was the kind of place people watched such things. Nearly forty-five years later, the guru of the free market鈥檚 attempt to make pre-Reagan economic debates accessible for the general public remains an indispensable primer on the policies that govern the nation for better and worse. Friedman鈥檚 magnetic screen presence and penchant for dryly hilarious yet respectful takedowns of his opponents expose the gaping hole left in our common culture when we abandoned discourse for emotional grandstanding. 

American Graffiti (Netflix) It may look like a nostalgic trifle compared to other 70s classics like The Godfather and Taxi Driver, but George Lucas鈥檚 trip back to 1962 is one of the most resonant films ever made about America鈥檚 loss of innocence. Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfuss star as two college-bound California boys next door spending their last night in Modesto before moving on to the adult world. As the two wade in and out of various local scenes from eating popsicles with Wolfman Jack to drag racing with Harrison Ford, Lucas creates a world both singular and universal. One of the best American movies of all time and tailor-made for summer viewing. JEROD HOLLYFIELD



View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


馃幐 Yellow Days @ The Blue Room, 8p, $38.83, Info
+ indie soul-pop

馃幐 Hank Born @ The Underdog, 9p, Free, Info

馃幐 Whitten @ The Underdog, 7p, $10, Info
+ pedal steel forward instrumental music

馃幑 Ben Rector & Cody Fry Live with the Nashville Symphony @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $89+, Info

馃幒 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:00p, Free, Info鈥屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street

馃幐 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 8p, Free, Info鈥屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸
+ two-step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p