Bad planning on our part — my middle kid’s birthday is in the middle of the NHR walk. So both years I’ve trundled down to Boston after the walk ends, and then race back the next morning. Therefore, no post from yesterday, and late post today, since not only was it an early morning (on the road at 3:30am) but I had to add 2.5 miles to todays 19 mile walk. No sleep, longest distance and something wrong with my achilles tendons — but NOTHING to diminish the incredible fun of today. The local paper covered us on the front page, which meant every 3d car honked with support. One guy ran out of his house — “THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS!” Almost as cool as the guy who bought everyone coffee.
Today I feel like Cenk did last year. This video is incredibly funny:
Naturally, the biggest thing we're preparing for is the launch of the Keene walk tomorrow, starting at 9:00 AM at Soldier's Monument in the Central Square of Keene, followed by launches of the Portsmouth and Nashua route the day after tomorrow. This will be the first time that the #NHR will have simultaneous walks. This presents logistical challenges but we have some good people on the road to keep things safe.
We noticed a lot of letters coming in from Maryland to the [email protected] e-mail - and saw that Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD 3) wrote to his supporters and asked them to send us encouragement. It is an incredibly nice gesture and we thank him for it. (Hashtag #Sarbawesome.)
Sarbanes has pushed hard on the issue of reforming the system of corruption. Indeed, he introduced the Government by the People Act. But he doesn't just talk the talk - he literally walks the walk - the Congressman was one of our walkers in our January 2014 walk.
Just a reminder, if you haven't yet registered for the big event in Concord on January 21, you can still do so, and we're looking forward to seeing you there.
We climbed 10+ miles up the White Mountains, ending at Pinkham Notch. A stunning, clear day, that tested our equipment more than our strength. For much of the walk, I couldn’t wear glasses — defogger notwithstanding, ice coated the lenses.
The highlight was the surprise of Andrew Hemingway joining us. Andrew’s a libertarian-Republican. He ran for Governor in the Republican Primary. For a 30-something, he did quite well. And he has been a vocal advocate for reform.
More importantly, he has practiced a kind of cross-partisan reform. (See, e.g., “Can’t we all just get along and rebel?”) It is the real reason to have optimism here in New Hampshire that so many from both sides have been willing to embrace this issue, openly. Very un-DC.
The great Kai Newkirk of 99Rise joined us last night. We begin for Conway in a couple hours.
The -24°F (-31°C)doesn't tell the whole story; there is currently a national weather service alert for Carroll, Coos, and Grafton counties, where wind chill may mean as low as -40°F (-40°C) below.
One of the things we wanted to bring to your attention was the writing of Ella McGrail, a high school sophomore, who publishes a column called "Civic Teen" in the Seacoast Online (an arm of the Portsmouth Herald), and just wanted to point out that her eloquence at such a young age is a special talent.
More photos from our photostream below, check it out:
Fiercely cold, brilliantly sunny day three. Fifteen miles to the base of the White Mountains, 10 miles of which we climb on day four.
Pictured above is Dick Cates. Cates is my cousin. His uncle was one of the most important figures in my life (I write about him in my book, Code (PDF). My cousin ran for representative this last cycle in Wisconsin. He entered the race the leader (a 20 year member of the school board, and local farmer, well liked); raised and spent about $100k over 13 months. But he became the target of a SuperPAC that supports school vouchers. $300k later, Cates lost by 64 votes.
The striking part of the story was messaging. The SuperPAC didn’t attack Cates on school vouchers — or anything related to the substantive position they cared about. The attacks were just to kill.
Walking 30 miles across NH in January has converted him to the cause. Wisconsin has a new money in politics leader.
Some other updates:
We've been getting some great imagery from the road, but this photo, from Gabriel Grant, one of the walkers, was just outstanding.
Gabriel was one of the walkers last year as well, and one of the brilliant minds who shows up at just about every Team Democracy Hackathon. He's also the guy carrying the phone that gives us the live-tracking data for the Dixville Notch route - so when you see that little blue dot moving - that's Gabe you're watching.
We've also been getting some great comments in via our Cheer Us On page, and we want to share some of those with you now:
What you're doing is great and the EXACT prescription our country needs in order to become a functional democracy once again!
Beverly and I are in Thailand but support you 100%
Thanks for walking! I appreciate your effort and your message.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
Just wish I could be there.
Keep up the good work
I live in Oakland CA and appreciate you efforts so much. Many of us are with you on spirit!!
I send heart fueled love and deep appreciation for your dedication to democracy and human evolution.
Here's wishing all the walking rebels in New Hampshire
the best of luck in your endeavour!!!
I live in Germany, but wish I could jump on board with
you in NH (despite the cold!!)!!.
Hats off to you all! Respect!!
Today was the longest day — 21 miles through the 13 Mile Woods on the way to Milan, NH. Not incredibly cold (once the walking got going), and not much snow (brief flurries). Endless and striking beauty.
Long walks beget long talks. There was a documentary film crew with us for the first few days. We devoted miles to the question whether this is a story that can be told in film. The simple story of course can — the story of criminals, the account of how little our democracy responds. But can a film show anything beyond the failures, with an understanding beyond simple corruption?
As we talked it through (me, skeptical; she, hopeful), it struck me the most important bit to notice about this movement is its echo with the progressive movement 125 years ago. Not just in substance (since there’s much that similar about the substance), but more importantly, in tactics. That movement was many different movements of many different kinds, that eventually found a way to push in a roughly similar direction (to improve democracy by ending corrupt democracy); it had no single leader; it had no central plan; indeed, for much of the movement, it didn’t even have radio.
So too for this movement, now. We’re in the post-broadcasting era, when none can count on a few platforms to make this central to everyone. And we’re in the essentially-partisan era, when it may be too much to ask anyone to associate openly with the other team. What works in times like this is many different parts with very different characters moving roughly in the same direction. At least if, eventually, they can capture the attention of distracted “leaders.”
The most hopeful bit of this part (NHRebellion.org) of this larger movement is its success in growing that diversity. Here’s an oped in the Nashua Telegraph co-authored by Andrew Hemingway (Libertarian/TeaParty candidate in the GOP primary for governor) and Dan Weeks (director of Granny D’s Open Democracy project).
The day ended with Aaron Swartz’s film, The Internet’s Own Boy. The best line is his father’s: The question now is what we do.
We continue the work, and make it work, in the thousand fields in which he walked.
Sub-zero temperatures greet us this morning, with a brisk and deadly wind.
Dixville Notch Route Day 2: Errol to Milan
21 miles, 18 walkers
Last year, day two - from Errol to Milan - was one of the most difficult days of the walk, covering a distance of 21 miles while still in the freezing North Country. This year was no different. Few updates from the walkers themselves today (because of a combination of being in a cellphone dead zone and the fact that it was just too cold to stop and take pictures.
Indeed, Nick Reid, a member of the Concord Monitor Staff who is making the trip with the walkers has entitled one of his blog posts: "It sure is cold out here." You can keep up with Nick at the Concord Monitor's "Money Trail" blog.
Speaking of the Monitor, the launch made the front page both of the Monitor's website and the print edition, as verified by the photo on the left one of our walkers, Andrew, took. You can keep up with the walkers' photos live via our Lensmob album at lensmob.com/a/nhr.
New Hampshire isn't the only place that people are getting excited - check out this video from Bruce Skarin (one of last year's walkers) as he walks in solidarity as a virtual walker this year in Massachusetts.
Dixville Notch Route Day 1: Dixville Notch to Errol
11 miles, 35 walkers
It was a (relatively) short, beautiful first day walking, from Dixville Notch to Errol, NH — just about 11 miles, with none of the sleet or ice that we suffered last year.
There were couple dozen on the road, including a bunch who had come up from Cambridge in the morning especially in honor of Aaron Swartz, Including Tim Berners Lee, and Aaron’s brother, Noah, with friends. The team this year includes an astrophysicist, a grad student from Hong Kong who had experienced the September protests, my cousin from Wisconsin (who just ran for state rep, and lost by 64 votes to an opponent supported by a dark money superpac) and an incredible number from last year back.
We ended the night with everyone recounting why they were there. In some important way, we are here because of what happened 2 years ago tonight.
We have 20 miles in the snow tomorrow. Early night.
Check out this interview that WOKQ's Samuel A. Adams did with New Hampshire Rebellion's Director, Jeff McLean.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Hampshire Rebellion Launches Four Marches Across New Hampshire to End Political Corruption
From Dixville Notch, Portsmouth, Keene, and Nashua to Concord: From one march last winter to four marches in 2015, hundreds of NH residents to unite for change
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Rebellion today announced its second annual walk across New Hampshire, where citizens will be able to send a message to presidential candidates that NH voters are “no longer for sale.” From January 11 to 21, hundreds of walkers will brave the elements and walk more than 250 miles from the four corners of the Granite State, converging on the State House in Concord on January 21st. Walks will be held simultaneously from Dixville Notch, Portsmouth, Keene, and Nashua. In Concord, NH Rebellion founder Lawrence Lessig and state and national reform leaders will headline a rally in front of the State House.
“The growth of this movement here in New Hampshire shows that people across the state from every political background are taking a stand to stop systemic corruption in our political system” said Jeff McLean, Director of the NH Rebellion, a campaign of Open Democracy. “The demand on candidates to spend the majority of their time raising money from narrow interests artificially heightens polarization and leads to the dysfunction of Congress and its historically low level of public approval. It is time we take on this root issue.”
Last January, 207 walkers marched 190 miles from Dixville Notch to Nashua in cold and snow. The two-week effort reached 3.2 million people nationally and internationally and also reached more 625,000 Granite Staters.
The non-partisan walks represent a continuation of Doris “Granny D” Haddock’s historic walk across the country for campaign finance reform at the age of 90 and also serve as a tribute to internet activist Aaron Swartz.
NH Rebellion is part of Open Democracy, the Concord-based nonpartisan reform organization founded by Granny D. "If the legendary NH reformer Granny D could leave the comfort of her home and walk across the US for the sake of our democracy in her 90th year, we too can brave the cold this January and walk to reclaim our republic from big money special interests," said Dan Weeks, Executive Director of Open Democracy. "We call on every citizen of the state to join us in declaring to the presidential candidates and the nation that we won't be bought."
To learn more about the NH Rebellion, please visit:www.nhrebellion.org. To register for the walk please visit:walk.nhrebellion.org. You can also follow us on Twitter @nhrebellion and on Facebook at:facebook.com/nhrebellion.
Our inspiration: As we move quickly toward our January walks we wanted to post about our inspiration.
Doris "Granny D" Haddock
Doris "Granny D" Haddock (January 24, 1910 – March 9, 2010) was an American political activist from New Hampshire.
Haddock achieved national fame when, between the ages of 88 and 90, starting on January 1, 1999, and culminating on February 29, 2000, she walked over 3,200 miles (5,100 km) across the continental United States to advocate for campaign finance reform.
Haddock's walk across the country followed a southern route and took more than a year to complete, starting on January 1, 1999, in southern California and ending in Washington, D.C., on February 29, 2000.
In 1960, Granny D began her political activism when she and her husband successfully campaigned against planned hydrogen bomb nuclear testing in Alaska, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. Granny D and her husband retired to Dublin, New Hampshire, in 1972 and there Granny D served on the Planning Board and was active in the community.
After the first efforts of Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold to regulate campaign finances through eliminating soft money failed in 1995, Granny D became increasingly interested in campaign finance reform and spearheaded a petition movement. On January 1, 1999, at the age of 88, Granny D left the Rose Bowl Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, in an attempt to walk across the United States to raise awareness of and attract support for campaign finance reform.
Granny D walked roughly ten miles each day for 14 months, traversing California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas,Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, making many speeches along the way. The trek attracted a great deal of attention in the mass media.
When Granny D arrived in Washington, D.C., she was 90 years old (having begun the journey at
88 and having two birthdays en route), had traveled more than 3200 miles, and was greeted in the capital by a crowd of 2200 people. Several dozen members of Congress walked the final miles with her during the final day's walk from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol on the National Mall.
In 2003 and 2004 Doris led a voter registration drive which registered 23,000 people all while traveling in her small RV she named "Rosie".
Granny D wrote three books, all co-authored with Dennis Burke. She ran for the Senate in 2004 as a Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Judd Gregg for the U.S. Senate, after the previous Democratic nominee was implicated on a campaign finance scandal. The 2007 HBO Documentary, "Run Granny Run," directed by Marlo Poras, about Granny D's 2004 Senate campaign.
She continued to be active in politics to the end of her life, and celebrated her 98th, 99th and 100th birthday by lobbying for campaign finance reform at the New Hampshire State House.