Anti-Trump rally held on the Green
Students and community members gather on the corner of the Green to protest Donald Trump.
Around 45 people, ranging from young children to senior citizens, gathered at the corner of the Green Thursday afternoon, holding up posters and shouting, “No hate in the Granite State” to demonstrate their opposition of Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination.
New Hampshire’s NextGen Climate, an organization committed to fighting climate change through political action, organized the rally. NextGen organized a “day of action” on Thursday across the state of New Hampshire, with events in Manchester, Hanover, Portsmith and Keene, said Katie Corriveau, NextGen Climate New Hampshire press secretary.
“We are in those four areas to protest and voice our discomfort with Trump as the Republican nominee before he takes the stage tonight,” NextGen Climate New Hampshire press secretary Kate Corriveau said. “A four-year Trump presidency would cause irreparable damage to the planet.”
Trump takes irresponsible positions on energy policies, Corriveau said.
“His plans are not only to not do anything to help climate change, but he looks to further the use of fossil fuels,” she said. “He is firmly in the pocket of corporate polluters and looks to protect their interests over American families”
Attendants at the rally expressed disapproval for Trump’s platform and his nomination as the Republican nominee for President.
“I’ve been appalled at what I’ve been hearing from the Republican National Convention. I felt compelled to come out and try to counter the messages of hate and violence that are being propagated through the political process,” said Lee Oxenham, New Hampshire state representative. “I think it’s important that people stand up against these kind of virulent espousals of violence.”
Plainfield resident Oxenham has been involved with NextGen Climate since it began organizing in New Hampshire.
Dennis Ruprecht, Jr., a rising senior at Woodsville High School in Woodsville, New Hampshire, said that Trump’s platform went against his personal values.
“He denies climate change, he denies that it exists,” Ruprecht said. “Obviously he doesn’t believe that it’s a problem because he doesn’t believe that it exists at all.”
Ruprecht also mentioned rallying against Ayotte and the “hateful agenda of all the Republicans right now,” which he said Trump represented.
He said that people need to realize that Trump won the Republican primary in New Hampshire, so it is necessary to make sure that he will not win the state again and will be kept out of the White House.
Rally attendants expressed the belief that people need to publicly vocalize their stance on issues they believe in.
“My purpose for being here is wanting to take a more public stance against the issues that Trump stands for,” Margaret Lane ’17 said. “I’d rather be here publicly showing support for the other side rather than just sitting at home thinking it in my head.”
Lane became involved with NextGen Climate New Hampshire through the College’s divestment campaign, which focuses on the environmental side of social justice, she said.
Lane said that being at the College gives students a voice of privilege to some extent, and that students have a responsibility to speak publicly on critical issues.
“I always think it’s cool to see more student turnout at these types of events,” she said. “Even if you share in a viewpoint, it’s not the same thing just keeping it to yourself as it is standing out there.”
Oxenham also expressed that it is important for people to express their values publicly.
“I think it’s too easy to sit home and pull the covers over your head, and I think people have to come out and speak up and be counted for the things that they value,” Oxenham said.
Oxenham has had three bills on renweable energy in the legislature in the past session. She hopes to promote positive change on that front, as climate change poses a threat, she said.
Corriveau said voters need to focus on climate policies not only when electing a president, but also when voting for members of Congress or other local offices.
For this reason, NextGen Climate New Hampshire is also against New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, who will officially become part of the “Party of Trump” once he accepts the nomination, Corriveau said.
Corriveau said that NextGen organizes events on campuses because of their strong desire to motivate young voters.
“We’re looking to educate and motivate especially young voters to get out in November to vote for climate champions and against Donald Trump,” Corriveau said. “That’s the bottom line for everything we do.”