On the 2nd of Oct, 2021, I attended Health Freedom NH’s March for Medical Freedom.
News coverage of the event
I could find no coverage from New Hampshire’s biggest news outlets: WMUR and The Union Leader.
The March started at the State Library in Concord, NH. The organizers wanted folks to arrive about noon and the march would start at 12:15 PM. The march’s route wound through downtown Concord ending at the State House. At the State House the organizers had arranged for entertainment and speakers, with the speakers wrapping up around 3 PM.
Before the Medical Freedom March, was a pro-abortion march organized by a different group.
On my way over to the State Library, I saw no evidence that the folks from the pro-abortion march were still in Concord.
I arrived a little after noon at the State Library. There was a big crowd. I wandered through the crowd to the Library’s steps. I overheard some people talking about this being their first protest.
The real value in these events is networking. Organizers of events like these need to have people working the crowd and/or running sign-up sheets to get contact information from people interested in helping out.
Rebuild NH (formerly called Reopen NH) has been very good at building a network and in getting their network to do things. For example, during the last legislative session, legislators complained about the flood of e-mails, letters, and phone calls generated by Rebuild NH asking people to contact legislators. In response, Rebuild NH asked people to increase the pressure on the Legislature.
On the top of the steps of the Library, I could see out over the whole crowd. The crowd was more than twice the size of the crowd at the May 2020 Reopen NH anti-lockdown protest. My estimate of crowd size is roughly a 1,000 people. I have seen other estimates of 1,200-1,500 people.
Someone started a “Fuck Joe Biden” chant. After the chant, it sounded like someone tried addressing the crowd with a bullhorn. The crowd started moving down State Street. I joined the crowd.
The crowd moved down both the right lane of State Street and the sidewalk on the right hand side of State Street. I was surprised to see no Concord police since we were in the road. Health Freedom NH and Reopen NH had put out a call for volunteers to help manage the crowd. I saw their volunteers directing the crowd and directing traffic around the crowd.
Most of the reactions I saw from drivers were positive. For those that weren’t, one negative interaction stood out. I heard one car driver arguing with one of the volunteers about the march blocking the road. I heard the volunteer reply with “We have a permit for this.”
The Patch article I linked above quotes Concord police as saying Health Freedom NH did not have a valid permit.
One shopkeeper came out of his shop to shout, “Fuck Joe Biden! Fuck Bill Gates!”.
The crowd arrived at the State House. Some of the pro-abortion folks had left their signs by a statue on the State House lawn. There was a stage at the base of the steps. The crowd gathered around it. A guy tried to keep the crowd entertained as the singer got set up. The singer was Becca Myari. Eventually she got up and started playing. She started with a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”. She moved on from there, breaking out a tin whistle for one song. She played a good set.
During Becca Myari’s set, I decided to walk around the crowd.
During the march and during my walk around the crowd I saw many people openly carrying handguns. I only saw two people carrying long arms. One was a Revolutionary War re-enactor. I talked with him at a Reopen NH event last year. I don’t remember what unit he told me he used as inspiration for his costume. I remember he carries a reproduction Charleville musket, but I can’t remember the model. The other person carrying a long arm was a morbidly obese man standing a bit apart from the crowd. He was wearing a face diaper of the surgical mask variety. He had an AR type rifle slung over his shoulder. I think, but cannot be certain, this is the guy mentioned in the Patch article I linked above whom the Concord police tracked down in a parking garage later in the day.
On the topic of face diapers, I would need two hands to count all the people wearing face diapers; however, I would have some fingers left over. Most face diaper wearers were elderly and wearing surgical masks. Two face diaper wearers wore neck gaiters. I saw one N-95.
I saw only one guy in full tacticool regalia. I saw two or three people in partial tacticool regalia.
I saw no police, though the Patch article I linked above mentions some police showed up.
I did not take notes on the speakers. I only remember details of four of the speakers.
The first speaker is a current or former conservative talk radio host. I remember thinking during his talk that the Feds are probably salivating over what he said. It sounded to me like he was pushing for armed rebellion.
The second speaker was Thomas McLeod. He is involved in Health Freedom NH, the Liberty Defense Fund of NH, and Reopen NH. His talk was about the vaccines and their negative side effects. The crowd started dwindling during his talk.
Rep. Leah Cushman’s talk was about vaccine mandates affecting nurses and other medical. She is a RN in her day job. During her talk, some folks from Rebuild NH were going around the crowd handing out business cards. The cards had Rebuild NH’s contact information on it. Remember: The value in these events is in building a network.
There were other folks working the crowd during the series of speakers. One was from the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence.
The other requires his own paragraph. He approached me telling me something along the lines of, “All of these people are trying to fix things, but I have the solution.” He is a representative of the real United States of America. He says the correct name of the United States is “The United States of America”, not “United States of America”. Therefore, the current government is a sham, and he is a member of the only real government of the country. He had a bunch of literature. He also had a passport from “The United States of America” (note the upper case “T”). If you are scratching your head, look at a current US passport. It will refer to the USA as “United States of America” (note the lack of “the” or “The”) or “the United States of America” (note the lower case “t”). He tells me the “The” with a capital “T” is critical. It sounded to me like a variation on the Sovereign Citizen movement. Before he moved on, he told me to take a look at “The American Herald” because it has real news about the real America.
I didn’t stay for all of the speakers. I left as the organizers were trying to patch a lawyer who was on the phone through to the sound system. The lawyer is involved in some lawsuits of interest to the crowd, but I couldn’t hear all of what they were about. I also can’t remember his name. I think he’s in Ohio, but I can’t remember.
At the time I left, I’d say the crowd was about a third of its original size. Some of the crowd had moved over to Main Street to wave flags and signs at people driving past.
I think this was a good event. I suspect the organizations involved got a whole bunch of new people to join their mailing lists and activist groups, which will pay off in the future.