CONCORD — From January 11 to 21, hundreds of reform-minded citizens are braving the elements to walk across New Hampshire in a frigid "New Hampshire Rebellion" against money in politics. Walkers from across New Hampshire and neighboring states will participate in four simultaneous NH Rebellion marches covering more than 300 miles from Portsmouth, Nashua, Keene, and Dixville Notch to Concord, NH.
The Dixville Notch marchers will go through Laconia on Sunday. Harvard Prof. Lawrence Lessig will make a presentation and lead a discussion at Lakes Region Community College at 4:30 p.m.
On January 21st, the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the marches will converge on the Statehouse in Concord for a major rally declaring to the 2016 presidential candidates that New Hampshire voters are "Not for Sale."
"We are deeply concerned that elections are being bought and paid for by a handful of private interests looking out for themselves — not the American people," said Daniel Weeks, executive director of Open Democracy in Concord. "As the first-in-the-nation primary state, we are putting the presidential candidates on notice that N.H. voters are sick and tired of outside interests spending millions to influence our elections. We're walking across N.H. to demand the next president commit to reforming this corrupt system on day one."
Wearing orange vests and carrying "Rebellion" signs, the walkers are logging between 8 and 20 miles per day through winter weather that is projected to stay below freezing for much of the March. They are sleeping in churches, homestays, and motels.
Throughout the 10-day march, the walkers are holding multiple community outreach events around the state to educate their fellow citizens about the nation's campaign finance system and alternatives for reform. Aided by a newly developed web app, QuestionR.org, they are urging citizens to ask every presidential candidate who comes to New Hampshire what specific reforms they will advance to lessen the influence of private money in politics.
"The growth of this movement in New Hampshire shows that people across the state from every political background are taking a stand to stop systemic corruption in politics," said Jeff McLean, director of the NH Rebellion. "The demand on candidates to spend the majority of their time raising money from narrow interests increases 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."
Founded by scholar-activist Prof.Lessig, the NH Rebellion march is inspired by the "rebellion clause" of the New Hampshire Constitution, which calls on citizens "to reform the old or establish a new government" when laws serve a privileged few rather than "the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community."
Professor Lessig and other marchers are seeking to continue the work of the late New Hampshire reformer Doris "Granny D" Haddock, whose historic cross-country walk for campaign finance reform at the age of 90 helped spark a citizens movement to pass the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.
"The New Hampshire Rebellion cuts across party lines to champion fundamental reforms that are needed to save our state and our country," added former Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway, a member of the NH Rebellion. "It is time for New Hampshire citizens to rise up with one voice and demand clean elections, ethical fundraising, and a reversal of what big money and partisan politics have wrought on our democracy."
NH Rebellion is part of Open Democracy, the Concord-based nonpartisan reform organization founded by Granny D. To learn more about the NH Rebellion, please visit: www.nhrebellion.org. To register for the walk please visit: walk.nhrebellion.org. To see details about the planned events, visit You can also follow us on Twitter @nhrebellion and on Facebook at: facebook.com/nhrebellion.