Walk the walk: In spirit of Granny D, NH Rebellion wants ‘big money’ out of politics

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Walking the walk across NH in the name of campaign finance reform.

NH Rebellion walkers as seen in 2014 in Dixville Notch.
NH Rebellion walkers as seen in 2014 in Dixville Notch.

MANCHESTER, NH — The NH Rebellion, a grassroots political movement, is on the road and looking for your support in what they say is the fight against “big money” and its influence on U.S. politics.

This week, all roads lead to the statehouse in Concord, with a series of walks from the four corners of NH. The first leg, from Dixville Notch to Concord, began Jan. 11. (See below for more on the walk routes and how you can join in.)

Those who can’t make the organized walks can join in virtually by logging miles walked here via the Open Democracy site.

The group wants to see the mainstream media make a central issue of campaign finance reform during the 2016 presidential primary cycle, where New Hampshire is the “first in the nation” focus.

They will be asking every presidential primary candidate, “How are you going to end the system of corruption in Washington, D.C.?” And they hope the public — and media covering the primary — will follow their lead.

A NH Rebellion walker in Merrimack holds a poster featuring Granny D.
A NH Rebellion walker in Merrimack holds a poster featuring Granny D.

As a means of raising awareness and engaging voters, four walks are taking place this week. One goal is getting citizens to sign their petition and walk along in unity through the state, all in the spirit of Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a NH activist who called for campaign finance reform and then launched a walk across the U.S in 1999, that took her 14 months, ending in Washington, D.C., when she was 90.

This year’s walk mirrors last year’s walk, a similar trek led by Larry Lessig, a Harvard Law professor and longtime political activist, which drew nearly 200 walkers and ended with a birthday party/rally in Nashua on Granny D’s birthday.

This year, with added routes, the group is hoping for more participation, and aftershocks.

NH Rebellion is based in Manchester and is part of Open Democracy, working closely with reform-minded individuals and groups on both sides of politics to “stop the corrupting influence of special interest money in politics.”

Learn more on the Open Democracy team by clicking here.

Michael Pedersen of Nashua in Merrimack during 2014 NH Rebellion walk.
Michael Pedersen of Nashua in Merrimack during 2014 NH Rebellion walk.

2015 January Walk Routes

Dixville Notch to Concord – 150 miles.
January 11 to January 21

Keene to Concord – 64 miles.
January 17 to January 21

Nashua to Concord – 42 miles.
January 18 to January 21

Portsmouth to Concord – 47 miles.
January 18 to January 21


Screenshot 2015-01-12 at 5.53.25 AMYou can join in any of the walks at any point along the way. The Nashua to Concord route begins Jan. 18 and comes right through Manchester. Here are the walk details if you’d like to join:

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18
DAY 1: NASHUA to MERRIMACK

Total Daily Mileage: 14.2 miles
Estimated Walk Time: 4 hours, 42 minutes
Starting Point: Nashua City Hall with the possibility of transporting walkers from the Tyngsboro Park & Ride
Route: North on Daniel Webster Highway towards Main Street, continue to Concord Street, then turn right on US-3 North.
End Point: Merrimack Library, Merrimack, NH

  • 8 AM: MEET at the Nashua City Hall
  • 9 AM: DEPART
  • LUNCH: On the Road
  • 2 PM: DEBRIEF at the Homestead Restaurant
  • 3-5 PM: Bird-Dog Training at the Merrimack Library
  • 5 PM: Rides to vehicles and lodging

MONDAY, JANUARY 19
DAY 2 – MERRIMACK to MANCHESTER

Total Daily Mileage: 10 miles
Estimated Walk time: 3 hours, 22 minutes
Starting Point: The Homestead Restaurant, Merrimack, NH
Ending Point: St George Orthodox Cathedral, Manchester, NH
Route:  North on State Route 3, turn right at Brown Avenue, Continue onto Perimeter Road, Continue onto South Willow Street, turn right onto S. Maple Street, turn right onto Hanover Street, turn left onto Kenney Street, then turn right onto Hanover Street.

  • 8 AM: BREAKFAST/MEETUP at Merrimack Library.
  • 9 AM: DEPART
  • LUNCH: On the Go
  • 3 PM: DEBRIEF and EVENT at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral
    • Community Celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event starts at 2:00 PM, with a Potluck Meal & Live Music.
    • Walkers will arrive at approximately 3:00 PM, while the event is in progress.
    • 3-5 PM will be a celebration and awards.
    • This event is free and open to all.
    • More information can be found at www.mlknh.org
  • LODGING: Lodging at the Faith Baptist Church

TUESDAY, JANUARY 20
DAY 3: MANCHESTER to PEMBROKE

Total Daily Mileage: 12.3 miles
Estimated Walk Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
Starting Point: Manchester City Hall, Manchester, NH
Ending Point: American Legion, Pembroke, NH
Route: West on Hanover Street towards Merrimack Street, right onto Elm Street, right onto Webster Street, slight left onto Hooksett R0ad, slight right onto NH-28 S/US-3, then left onto Pleasant Street, continue onto S. Main Street, and turn right onto Glass Street.

  • 8 AM: BREAKFAST and meetup at Faith Baptist Church
  • 9 AM: DEPART from Manchester City Hall
  • LUNCH: On the go
  • NOON: EVENT “Go Granny D” play at the Hooksett Library, 31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way, Hooksett, NH. 
  • 3 PM: Debrief at American Legion, Pembroke, NH. 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21
DAY 4 – PEMBROKE to CONCORD

Total Daily Mileage: 7.19 miles
Estimated Walk Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Starting Point: American Legion, Pembroke NH
Ending Point: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main St., Concord, NH
Route: Head right on Main Street., then turn left onto Broadway and continue onto US-3 N/Pembroke Street. Stay on US-3 N, then take a left onto Manchester Stret., continue onto Water Street, then turn left onto Pleasant Street.

  • 8 AM: MEET at American Legion in Pembroke
  • 9 AM: DEPART
  • 11:30 AM: LUNCH, Capitol Center for the Arts
  • 1:30 PM: DEPART as a group for the NH State House. 

Screenshot 2015-01-12 at 6.38.49 AM
NH Rebellion Walk Across NH FAQs via NH Rebellion home page

Our Inspiration

We were inspired by Doris Haddock (aka, “Granny D”) who in 1999 at the age of 88, walked from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. with a sign on her chest that read, “CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM.” Like Granny D’s walk, our walks will help draw national attention to this issue and force politicians to address it.

How will walking make a difference?

First, with hundreds of Granite Staters walking for reform, the walks prove that Americans care about the issue of corruption.

Second, the walks give people hope that we can do something to solve this problem. The walks give everyone a way to participate in a tangible, visible way.

Third, the walks help us recruit New Hampshirites to join us in 2016 in asking every presidential primary candidate, “How will YOU end this system of corruption in Washington?”

Every presidential primary candidate comes through New Hampshire, and will be asked this question. The mainstream media will be forced to cover the issue and make it the most important issue of the primaries. Voters will then have the information necessary to choose a candidate who will champion reform.

How well is the plan working so far?

Extremely well! When we first walked in January 2014, we thought just a handful of people would join us. Instead, 207 people walked, including 19 who traveled with us for all 185 miles. We received international media coverage, including extensive coverage by major media outlets in New Hampshire, reaching an estimated audience of 3.2 million people. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received here and across the country.

In July of 2014 we held a walk along the New Hampshire seacoast. This walk brought together just over 500 walkers. This gathering represented the largest non-partisan event in New Hampshire in a number of years. To see the news coverage of this and other events please visit our news and media page.

About Carol Robidoux 5548 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.