A few hundred protesters gathered Thursday outside Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester for President Donald Trump’s first 2020 campaign rally in the Granite State.
Democrats, and Democratic-leaning voters, some of whom drove there from Vermont and the region, chanted and carried signs critical of the president.
“Lock him up! Lock him up!” was one refrain.
Ryan Siegmann made the two-and-a-half-hour trip to Manchester from Burlington. A New Hampshire native, Siegmann said he works for an after-school program now and worries about the impact the president’s style and rhetoric are having on children.
“When you think of the President as someone kids usually look up to or form their opinions about the world, it’s scary to think of the things he says and does and how that affects kids,” Siegmann said.
Rich Block, a resident of Keene, New Hampshire area, said he’s bothered by Trump’s past behavior toward women, some of which was caught on video, and wonders why any woman would support him.
“The thing that really bothers me the most is the signs I see that say things like Women For Trump,” Rich Block said. “I have a very hard time comprehending how any woman could possibly, possibly be in favor of this man.”
Block said most Trump supporters he encountered Thursday were well-mannered, but said a few made threats.
“To me, that maybe is indicative of the fact that Trump, to me, has been encouraging bullying and bigotry and closed-mindedness,” Block said.
And one, at least, wasn’t happy with the media, a frequent subject of the President’s anger and frustration. One person passing by looked our reporter in the eye and said, “You’re all a bunch of communists.”
A group of New Hampshire progressives organized the protest outside the arena. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign held a separate protest at a restaurant nearby.