The air was chilly but spirits were strong among the dozens of activists at the launch of Occupy the New Hampshire Primary in Manchester’s Veterans Park this evening. Local organizers have been at work for weeks arranging schedules of events, finding volunteers for a variety of tasks, getting out publicity, raising money for portable toilets, collecting donations, meeting with police, and more. Banners and tents were visible at the park entrance across Elm Street from the Radisson Hotel, a major center for reporters covering the campaign leading up to next Tuesday’s Primary election.
A couple dozen Occupiers went cross town to the Unitarian Church for a workshop on bird-dogging the candidates. A series of discussions and exercises and , including interactions with faux candidates Jefferson Lincoln and Rosie Roosevelt, helped participants learn how to hone their message for the coming 3 days of Town Hall Meetings, meet-and-greets, and other chances to interact with Newt, Mitt, and the rest of the GOP gang.
Some bird-dogging success is already evident: Mark Provost’s question to Mitt Romney about abusive corporations at a Town Hall meeting Wednesday at Central High School received international media attention.
Tomorrow’s schedule includes a gay rights march through the streets of Manchester and a Funeral for the American Dream outside the Dana Center at St. Anselm College, where the candidates will debate Saturday evening. Members of the Granite State Organizing Project, NH Citizens Alliance, and the Alliance for Retired Americans, bolstered by visiting members of the United Auto Workers, will be there, too, with messages about strengthening retirement security.