Tenn. agrees to stop arresting Occupy protesters

By TRAVIS LOLLER | October 31, 2011 | 5:15 PM EDT

Occupy Nashville protesters join hands on the Legislative Plaza on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. Participants in the economic protest returned to the Legislative Plaza after arrests were made the two previous nights. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has agreed to stop enforcing a new curfew used to dislodge Occupy Nashville protesters from the grounds around the state Capitol.

The protesters went to federal court Monday seeking a temporary restraining order against Gov. Bill Haslam. They argue the curfew and arrests of dozens of supporters violated their rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Marett told Judge Aleta Trauger the state was giving up on efforts to keep people off Legislative Plaza between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Trauger granted the protesters the order since the state wasn't contesting it.

State troopers used the curfew put into place on Thursday to arrest 29 protesters early Friday and 26 people early Saturday.

A local magistrate, however, refused to jail the protesters.