It's 5:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, and about 100 people have gathered in a park behind the House of Representatives office buildings. They've taped up the trees and lamp posts with yellow emergency tape. A man standing by a picnic table hands out vests which look like they were filched from the gilets jaunes. Passersby stop and gawk at the spectacle.
Republican members of the Tennessee legislature say they are concerned about the increased willingness for physical confrontation exhibited by protesters, two of whom were charged with assault last week after cornering a group of lawmakers in the Capitol building.
Several activists protesting a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general during the Civil War, cornered Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R.) and other top Republican leaders in the state legislature in an elevator on Thursday.