With the results of the presidential race still unknown and all bodies of the New Hampshire State House now likely controlled by Republicans, local progressives are facing an uncertain future.
On Wednesday night, about 150 people gathered in front of the State House, as part of a national post-election effort organized by progressive groups called ‘Protect the Results.’
Some supporters waved huge American flags and others held up signs with the words ‘COUNT EVERY VOTE.’ Many said they had spent the last 24 hours in a haze of anxiety and doom scrolling.
"The trap with social media is that I go there because I want to know what is going on, but I don't want to know what everyone's take on it is,” said Andrew Bemis of Concord. “I’m looking forward to a break on that.”
“I find myself on my phone innocently looking at one thing and then I'm Googling ‘presidential election 2020,’ adding up the electoral votes and what may or may not happen,” said Maria Nalette of Manchester.
“This is an election that’s life or death," she continued. "It feels like it’s written in blood in many ways, because so many people have died from COVID, and so many people are worried about their immigration status.”
Nalette, who identifies as Afro-Arab, came to the rally with her friend Grace Kindeke, who told the crowd that if social, racial and environmental justice groups want power, they need to get better at building coalitions.
“The only way that we can do anything is if we do it together,” Kindeke said to cheers, “Because my fight is your fight, your fight is my fight, because we fight for humanity.”
Organizers called attention to the big wins for the state GOP, which will control all branches of the New Hampshire State House.
“We lost,” said Erika Perez, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Manchester. “This is a red state. And I’m gonna say that again because I know ya’ll felt really good about being blue on that [presidential] map. This is a red state.”
Josie Pinto, the political director of New Hampshire Youth Movement, which helped organize the event, condemned the New Hampshire Democratic Party for not focusing enough on down-ballot races and losing so many seats.
"It means we have to rethink our whole strategy,” she said. “We have to go on the defensive instead of the offensive, so it's going to be a really hard next two years.”