Several dozen Occupy activists from several New Hampshire communities, joined by visitors from New York, Boston, and San Diego, discussed plans to “Occupy the New Hampshire Primary” at a statewide meeting in Manchester today. Plans
thus far include a “Funeral Procession for the American Dream” outside the site of the GOP candidate debate, Saturday, January 7, at St. Anselm College, a gay pride march through downtown Manchester the same day, discussions of US militarism, skills workshops, films, and whatever happens at daily General Assemblies. Veterans Park in downtown Manchester will be the center of the action.
Activists are also planning a “Marriage to a Corporation” to lampoon the notion of corporate personhood. Personally, I’d prefer a divorce.
I hope Occupiers also plan visits to events sponsored by the candidates themselves, and those to which the candidates have been invited, so that they can deliver a direct message about the ways in which extreme inequality threatens to undermine democracy and prosperity both. The Hillsborough County GOP’s fundraising dinner in Nashua, January 6, where NH Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien will receive an award, would be a good candidate. (Rick Santorum plans to be there.) Another place to be would be the NBC/Facebook debate in Concord, January 8, at the Capitol Center for Arts. (See the NH Citizens Alliance for Action Bird-Dog Calendar for up-to-date information on the likely whereabouts of the candidates.)
The meeting also took up a number of practical issues, such as how and where to house and feed visitors to Manchester. Reports from friendly discussions with Manchester and Goffstown police were also shared.
Uncertainties facing organizers include the number and interests of out-of-state activists who have been invited to attend, and of course, the weather. So far New Hampshire has had a mild winter, and today’s 10-day forecast is for daytime temperatures above freezing and only light precipitation. But that can change in a hurry.
Participants from Occupy groups in Manchester, Conway, Plymouth, Durham, Nashua, and Concord gave reports on local activities, as did out-of-state visitors. Several groups are already looking to the January 21 anniversary of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, which further enshrined the legal rights of corporation, as a date to “Occupy the Courts.”
Occupy the New Hampshire Primary runs from January 6 through Primary Day, January 10. If all goes well, accessible information to help visitors find their way to Manchester-based activities will be posted soon on the Occupy NH web-page. In the meantime, look for Occupy the New Hampshire Primary on Facebook for schedules and other details.