Yesterday afternoon the progressive group Rights and Democracy hosted a Labor Day celebration and get together at Jim Mitchell Park in Warner, NH. Rights and Democracy hosted the event to draw attention and support for progressive candidates in the upcoming elections from county commissioner to state house and senate to gubernatorial races.
We were able to capture on camera some of our fantastic progressive state candidates. We also caught volunteers with Rights and Democracy and other notable state activists who’ve helped in putting forward a progressive agenda for our state.
Along with a crowd of what we’d estimate at about 500, hopeful candidates for various state offices showed up for a meet and greet opportunity. Some of the candidates had received endorsements from Rights and Democracy.
The numbers of progressive folks who turned out on what came to be a bit of a hot day to listen and talk to local candidates and see Bernie took over every bit of the green and then some. It was quite clear that RAD had under estimated the number of folks coming as the food tent couldn’t keep up with the demand and a line quickly formed.
When came Bernie on the stage, he received a standing ovation. He immediately went into the importance of paying attention to the issues coming in the next congressional session. Bernie mentioned the dangers of TPP and called on people to get involved in pushing their congress people to not pass the TPP which among other ills, includes a provision to have corporate entities empowered to sue countries, states and local governments for infringing on their “rights” to make a profit.
He also spoke of the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, to which some folks in the crowd yelled out “Offshore wind!”
As many would have expected, Bernie closed his speech by a his obligatory push to get progressives to support Hillary Clinton. Immediately when after utterly the first sentence and her name, the crowd booed loudly and some shouted “Jill Stein!”. But Bernie was unfazed, holding up his hands while the cacophony continued Bernie charged on, “I know, I know!” the crowd began to quiet down slightly, “I’ve been in politics for thirty years, I think I know something about third party politics!”
He then went on to explain that Trump was like no other candidate in the history of this country and everyone should do what they can to stop him. What is notable is that Bernie did not praise Hillary or go into anything about her, but stood firm on the idea that right now presents a unique challenge that must be addressed in a unique way. Certainly, Bernie left no indications of his love of the mainstream Democratic party, or the Democrats at all for that matter, since in fact, as he referenced no doubt in his “I know something about third party politics!” statement, he has run most of his career as an independent.
Rights and Democracy also had a videographer there who was able to capture the speeches on video which were uploaded and we copied here:
According to the news release given out at the volunteer tent Rights and Democracy is ” a bi-state progressive political organization in New Hampshire and Vermont.” Rights and Democracy also states that “over 200 people committed to attend the event in less than six days.” No doubt demonstrating the hunger of the average voter for a message that speaks to their concerns and their needs.
“The political revolution that began with Senator Sanders campaign in still only getting started,” said Michelle Salvador, founding chair of Rights and Democracy. “There is an enormous frustration with the political system in this country, and we believe the best thing we can do is build the movement for change on a local level.”
Josh Dolman and his partner, Josh works on the Shawn Connolly Congressional campaign. Josh appears at nearly every progressive event.
We also got a shot of Eric Zulaski, partner of Elizabeth Ropp who spoke. Both Eric and Elizabeth were early supporters of Bernie’s campaign and had the first house party in New Hampshire. Eric works on immigrant rights and also does his share of volunteer community activism in his spare time.