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Dueling Impeachment Rallies Draw Small Crowds, Loud Voices in Concord

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Todd Bookman/NHPR
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Two very different groups took to the State House on Wednesday. The first called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, while the second was decked out in ‘Make America Great Again’ T-shirts. 

Neither side, however, appeared to be drawing many people to their cause. 

(Editor’s note: we highly recommend listening to this story)

The pro-impeachment rally was organized by Tom Steyer’s presidential campaign, but it attracted progressives backing a range of 2020 candidates. 

As speakers took turns at the microphone, the audience cheered in support for impeaching Trump.  

But there was some despair at the event’s relatively low turnout. Dennis Jakubowski of Loudon looked around, saw two or three dozen fellow activists, and scratched his head.

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Credit Dan Touhy/NHPR
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Pro-Trump protesters rallied at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

“It’s baffling that we don’t have 10,000 people here today. I don’t understand it,” he said. “We are going to lose this country for our grandkids if we don’t do something.” 

Just as the impeachment rally participants were wrapping up and heading into the State House to turn in petitions, another group of activists arrived. 

This contingent-- even smaller than the first group--waved flags and held up pro-Trump signs.

“We are here for President Trump and to support Governor Chris Sununu. We want the American people...and the Democratic Party, especially, to know, to stop the witch-hunt,” said Chau Kelley of Hooksett. She opposes what she sees as a creeping communist sentiment inside the Democratic Party. 

After a bit more chanting, flag waving and singing, the pro-Trump crowd squeezed in for a picture on the State House steps, and then disbanded. 

Within an hour, the State House lawn was again quiet. The messy, sporadic and occasionally underwhelming business of grassroots democracy was done for the day.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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