This is Mary Redway, the “sweeper” from the Dixville Notch route, January 2014 & 2015.
These walks are political theater, in the best sense of the term. Both winter walks have been looking to garner media attention as well as educate the NH population, so that they will ask THE QUESTION when the presidential candidates appear.
January 2016 will be somewhat different. Most of the questioning of candidates will already have taken place. We will primarily be looking for media coverage so that the “rebellion” is carried on in other states’ primaries and beyond. As such, I think we should run the walk in reverse, with 3 separate walks (from Keene, Nashua & Portsmouth, and maybe a fourth from Hanover??) converging in Concord, and then one continuing to Dixville Notch, arriving approximately 10-11pm on January 25, 1-2 hours before the casting of the first ballots at midnight, January 26 (the tentative date for the primary). Hopefully, we would get substantial media coverage.
We could begin the walk January 11, in honor of Aaron Swartz, spend a day in Concord for special events, and then continue to Dixville Notch with the appropriate arrival date. It would be great to have a larger number than the usual 20 arrive at Dixville Notch, even if it should make logistics a bit tricky. Our numbers have grown (yay!!) as have our demographics (some younger people, more women). But we have grown into a rather disciplined group, so, as long as we have the approval & can find beds for everyone, I think it is doable.
I like my husband’s suggestion of ringing church bells in the towns we traverse as we enter. I also think it would be good to post posters & flyers a week ahead in the various towns we walk through, so that we can get more of a local turn-out. Perhaps even some events could be scheduled. I realize that the North Country is sparsely populated, but perhaps something suitable could be arranged. At this point, so much would be aimed at perceptions & the media.
Lastly, as you make plans, it might be wise to consult with some of the veterans. As a “for instance,” Kevin Jones & I were discussing the possibility of a reverse walk and what that might mean in terms of walking uphill rather than downhill (however gradual that might be) and how that could change the equation. Please keep us in the loop. Thanks.
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