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Chants Disrupt Tea Party Rally at State House

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Speeches equating Medicare with socialism were sporadically interrupted by chanting students at the Tea Party’s Tax Day Rally in Concord today.   The rally, organized by Americans for Prosperity, drew a few hundred people to the State House steps.  Speakers included GOP leaders such as Ovide Lamontagne, whotea party 4-15-11 005 denounced Medicare and socialism, and Speaker Bill O’Brien, who touted the austerity and anti-union measures approved by the House.  Several presidential contenders also addressed the crowd, whose size was not large enough to reach beyond the area near the State House steps. 

A friend noted that Tea Partiers did enter the State House from time to time to use the facilities.  Do you think they ever wonder how public toilets came to be?   How about public water supplies run by public employees?  Some signs in the stalls, over the urinals, and over the sinks at the State House could make the point.   (Post a comment if you have proposed wording.)

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Midway through the Tea Party rally, 18 students from Plymouth State University began circling the State House, chanting about student power.  They were certainly audible and visible.tea party 4-15-11 014

Funds for the university system and scholarship assistance are among the casualties of the House-passed budget.  According to the NH Fiscal Policy Institute, The House proposes to make exceptionally sharp cuts to New Hampshire’s university and community college systems.  More specifically, the recommendations offered by the Finance Committee would slash General Fund appropriations for the University System of New Hampshire from an anticipated level of $197 million for FY10-11 to $83.3 million for FY 12-13, a drop of 58 percent and well beyond the already substantial reductions contained in the Governor’s budget plan.”

New Hampshire spending on higher education was already lowest in the nation.

Yesterday, 500 students from Oyster River High School in Durham walked out of class to protest the School Board’s rejection of a popular candidate to be the school’s new principal.  Maybe it’s just spring.  Or maybe New Hampshire’s youth are waking up and demanding a future built on good schools, fair taxes, good jobs, and healthy communities.  It’s about time.  

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