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Protesters at council meeting won't face criminal charges, N.H. Attorney General says

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Alli Fam/NHPR
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Protesters forced the cancellation of the Executive Council meeting on Sept. 29, 2021.

The New Hampshire Department of Justice won't bring criminal charges against anti-vaccine mandate protesters who disrupted an Executive Council meeting last September before it began, forcing Gov. Chris Sununu to cancel it.

Angry opponents of the Biden administration's new vaccine mandate moved around the room at Saint Anselm College on Sept. 29, shouting "Shut it down" before the meeting got underway.

The attorney general’s office said an investigation found probable cause to charge protestors but not enough evidence to conclude the state would prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The council was voting on accepting $27 million in federal COVID-19 vaccine aid, which protestors opposed with shouts and chants, and a warning to councilors that “we know where you live.”

The meeting was postponed, and for several subsequent meetings, the council, which ultimately took the federal aid, met only in secured locations.

From the start, those arrested said they were exercising their right to protest. But some in attendance said protestors made them fear for their safety. The incident prompted St. Anselm College to suspend hosting government meetings at its Institute of politics.

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