Walk to honor Granny D

When the late Doris “Granny D” Haddock of Dublin was 88 years old, she began her more than 3,200-mile walk across the continental United States in protest of money’s influence on politics and elections. With another election cycle in full swing and the 2016 presidential election right around the corner, Promoting Active Civic Engagement, which aims to carry on Granny D’s legacy, and the N.H. Rebellion movement are encouraging the public walk in Granny D’s shoes.

They are a hosting a 6-mile memorial walk this Saturday from Dublin to Hancock that starts at 9 a.m. on Cobb Meadow Road. The route was Granny D’s practice course to prepare for her transcontinental walk. The event is open to the public.

Carol Wyndham of Peterborough said she and her husband approached Lawrence Lessig, founder of N.H. Rebellion and a Harvard professor. Would you consider a walk on the back hills from Dublin to Hancock, the Wyndhams asked Lessig earlier this year. “He said, ‘Let’s do it,’” Carol said.

Wyndham said in an interview on Tuesday the purpose of this walk is not just to celebrate Granny D’s legacy — it’s to put Granny D’s fight back into action, and get people talking about her message once again, holding conversations as they walk.

“I hope [the conversations] will be positive,” Wyndham said. “That in fact the people are getting stronger and stronger as an entity. That we will in fact overwhelm the corporate moneyed power. A big part of it is attitude. If we didn’t think we could do it, we wouldn’t be out here walking.”

Following Saturday’s walk, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s will be distributing over 200 servings of their signature ice cream. Wyndham said Cohen and Greenfield are also supporters of removing money from politics.

Wyndham encourages participants to visit Hancock’s farmers’ market, and bring a lunch for the picnic. There will be shuttles back to Hancock afterward.

Lessig will be speaking at 8 p.m. the night before at the Amos Fortune Forum at the Jaffrey Center Meetinghouse. According to the Amos Fortune Forum’s website, Lessig will be talking about how the U.S. has drifted from its founding principles, and how this has impacted this country being led by officials the public elected.

Lessig and N.H. Rebellion has organized other walks in the name of Granny D. In January, around Granny D’s birthday, Lessig organized an almost 200-mile walk from Dixville Notch to Nashua.

On July 5, the Wyndhams participated in Lessig’s 16-mile walk on New Hampshire’s Seacoast.

There, Wyndham said Lessig reminded the crowd about Roger Bannister, a British runner who was the first to run a sub-4-minute-mile. Lessig said Bannister was told running that fast was impossible.

“What we should remember about politics,” Wyndham said, reciting Lessig’s speech, “It seems impossible. But it’s not. We’re going to do the impossible.”

Wyndham said Lessig will also repeat a question he would like everyone to keep asking, “What are you going to do about the big money corporations in Washington?”

Benji Rosen can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228, or brosen@ledgertranscript.com.

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