Nashua Telegraph: Group gathers at City Hall to rally for jobs
NASHUA – Downtown Nashua was Occupied on Wednesday night, however briefly, by a small group of people fed up with the status quo and demanding action from New Hampshire’s legislators.
“We’re here because American has a jobs emergency,” said Deb Howe, a teacher at Amherst Street Elementary School. “New Hampshire has a jobs emergency, and Nashua has a jobs emergency.”
The focus on the rally was to encourage Congress, specifically U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, to pass the American Jobs Act, a vital bill that would spend billions to add jobs in important industries, including education, construction and emergency services, according to organizers.
The rally was organized by the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action, which describes itself as a nonpartisan group focused on economic and political justice.
“We just have a group of concerned citizens really concerned about the state of our economy,” said alliance member Sarah Chaisson Warner.
About 20 people gathered at City Hall plaza around 5 p.m. toting signs and cheering at passing cars, a few of which honked in support. There was also a table with paper plates with a few crumbs representing the “99 percent” next to pots of “tax breaks” and “corporate greed” to represent the 1 percent.
The rally wasn’t formally a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement but had some of the same goals.
“They’re all tapping into the same type of energy. It’s the same concerns people around the country have,” said spokeswoman Zandra Rice-Hawkins.
Nashua resident Krista Rand has been unemployed since her stimulus-funded job was eliminated. She has been unemployed about half the time since she earned a master’s degree in engineering in December 2009.
“I’m hoping to raise awareness that there are legislative measures that would be helpful for those of us who are unemployed,” she said.
Rand said the millions of dollars in the American Jobs Act for infrastructure improvements could be helping put many people back to work and repair too-old roads and bridges.
“We have work to do and we have a way to pay for it,” she said. “We need the American Jobs Act or something like it.”
“It’s amazing to see working class people stand up against corporate greed and be sick and tired of the same old, same old,” said Nashua resident Danny Keating. “Not too much happens in Nashua. It’s not too often you see working class people standing up and saying ‘we’re sick of it.’”
Nashua resident Kathie Calder said she has been making trips to Occupy Boston to bring protesters supplies like blankets and warm clothes.
“Nashua is too good a city to miss this opportunity to speak out about what’s happening in our country,” she said. “Big money has taken over everything, and it begins in D.C. Our politicians listen to money, not to us. Our democracy has been taken from us, and I want it back.”
Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or email@example.com. Also follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).