Rick Santorum was scheduled to canvass a Manchester neighborhood this morning, and Occupy activists, still fresh from last night’s bird-dog training, were there to greet him. But the former Senator, now leading the not-Mitt bloc of GOP voters, never showed. The activists, some who had come up from Occupy Wall Street in New York, headed for the Homestead Deli in Hollis, where the former Senator was supposed to show up at 12:30.
With some Occupiers out bird-dogging candidates and others scattered around Veterans Park, marching around downtown Manchester, and waving signs along the street, it’s hard to tell how many people are “occupying the New Hampshire Primary.” But the weather is fine, spirits are still good, and more people are arriving. “Canada!,” shouted one woman, who had been keeping track of where participants were from. Occupy activists from Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut are well represented. There are plenty of cameras, many from activist journalists, some from professional reporters covering the Primary.
Approaching the park this morning I met a local Pepsi employee, Greg Salts, who was interested in telling the Occupy community about the multi-national’s plan to lay off 4000 workers and end corporate contributions to workers’ 401-k retirement plans. The CEO, Indra Nooyi, has spoken out for “capitalism with a conscience,” Salts said, but the reality is “the exact opposite of what he preaches.” The New York Post refers to the executive as “embattled,” but she is said to take in $19 million a year, so I’d propose an alternate adjective.
Creativity is on display in banners, signs, and even condoms with stickers reading “you know the politicians are going to screw you. may as well use protection.” A gay rights march is planned for 2:30 PM, with a “funeral procession for the American Dream” before tonight’s debate at St. Anselm College.
Another debate is on tap for morning, at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, sponsored by NBC, Facebook, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. Since the newspaper’s owners are dealing badly with the union representing the paper’s employees, a union picket is planned for 8 AM.