All removed from Tennessee House subcommittee after paper sign debacle

Posted at 1:53 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 22:02:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The argument over 8x11 paper signs in the legislature boiled over Tuesday as the entire public was cleared out of a House subcommittee by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

On Monday, the Tennessee House voted on allowing the pieces of paper along partisan lines. Democrats argued they were harmless, and questioned if guns could be brought into Cordell Hull, why couldn't the signage.

One of the first three thrown out, Allison Polidor, asked the same question.

"And deny our First Amendment rights? I am not leaving," Polidor said. "We have rights to hold a sign. If you have to drag me out, so be it."

The THP didn't agree. In turn, four troopers started walking toward her seat and two of them lifted out of her chair.

"This isn't what democracy looks like," she said as she was being removed.

After she was removed, she told NewsChannel 5 why she chose to bring forth a sign and speak out during the committee.

"It's an attack on First Amendment rights," she said. "I mean, I am here for my kids — everyone's kids. They are making these laws or lack of laws. I am here representing everyone's kids. No one should worry if their kids are going to come home from school or not. I feel like you can't sit by. When we've come to the point you can't hold up a sign, it's not OK."

By the time NewsChannel 5 got done interviewing Polidor, all of the public except media and lawmakers were cleared from the room.

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