MANCHESTER, NH — More than 100 protesters with signs gathered Thursday night outside the Manchester catering hall where Steve Bannon of Breitbart News, and former Presidential advisor, addressed the conservative 603 Alliance.
Termed “The Light Brigade,” the demonstrators held a series of 3-foot-square lit signs that read, “No Hate in Granite State,” and spelled out with symbols the message that “Love is Greater than Hate.”
Guests payed up to $750 to attend the fundraiser. According to the group’s website, the money raised will go toward supporting and training New Hampshire candidates with right-wing views who plan to run for office in 2018.
Demonstrators were in full view of attendees as they walked toward the entrance of the Executive Court Banquet Facility on Mammoth Road to hear Bannon’s speech.
A coalition of state-level organizations mounted the demonstration. Groups included Granite State Progress, the NH Young Democrats, Seacoast Resistance, America Votes, Rights and Democracy-NH, Monadnock United 2018, Kent Street Coalition, and Action Together New Hampshire.
“We want to draw attention to Steve Bannon and the kind of hate he brought to the White House and continues to peddle on Breitbart. He envisions a world where some people count more than others. It’s a divisive point of view and he’s created a platform for the alt-right to espouse their racist, xenophobic, nationalist, nativist views,” Louise Pierson Spencer of Kent Street Coalition said.
“Quite frankly we’re surprised that a New Hampshire group would invite him as a keynote speaker at a political fundraiser. We’re even more surprised that people would pay up to $750 to gain access to him and hear him speak,” Spencer said. “We’re just as concerned about those people that are interested in seeking their political direction from Steve Bannon. This protest event is to hold those people accountable for that decision.”
Zandra Rice Hawkins of Granite State Progress said, “There are a lot of people in New Hampshire who are upset about Steve Bannon’s divisive rhetoric and the politicians who enable his hateful mindset. The people of New Hampshire deserve to know which politicians and public figures are willing to pay to consider Bannon’s agenda.“