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Ahead of the NH primary, organizers make a push for Democratic voters to write in ‘cease-fire’

A group hosts a vigil and is asking state representatives to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Olivia Richardson
A small group gathered outside of Congresswoman Annie Kuster's office in Nashua on Friday, Jan. 19. They're asking state representatives to pressure the Biden administration to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war and they're asking voters to participate by writing in "cease-fire" in the democratic nominee form for the New Hampshire primary.

Days ahead of the New Hampshire presidential primary, some are urging Democratic voters to write in "cease-fire" instead of President Joe Biden.

Bill Maddocks, organizer of the Peacemakers for Palestinians vigil, stood on Main Street outside of Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s office in Nashua on Friday.

As cars drove by, some drivers honked their horns. A small group had gathered holding signs that read “Write-in ceasefire” and “Ceasefire now.”

Maddocks said they’re asking the state’s congressional delegation to take a call for a cease-fire.

The group started the vigils in reaction to the attacks Hamas launched on Israeli people on Oct. 7 and the actions taken by the Israeli government towards those in Gaza following.

“No one is kind of putting limitations on Israel to stop this carnage,” Maddocks said.

Maddocks said he feels upset that 25,000 people, most of whom are civilians and children have been killed in the conflict.

“Many of us have been writing Congresswoman Kuster or calling her office for weeks and weeks and weeks and while the staff has been cordial, there’s no commitment to changing her position,” Maddocks said.

Shayna Appel, a Milford resident who describes herself as culturally Jewish, says she doesn’t feel Israel’s actions will help their own state.

She said she attended Friday’s vigil, and plans on writing “cease-fire” as a way to send a message to Biden.

“I know Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee, so I’m not worried about that,” Appel said. “I think this is more important.”

Originally, Appel was like some New Hampshire residents that registered themselves as independent. She intended to vote for Republican candidates like Nikki Haley in an effort to affect former president Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency.

The Peacemakers for Palestinians plans on having more vigils in the weeks after the primary in the Nashua and across the state.

Corrected: January 23, 2024 at 7:11 PM EST
An earlier version of this story was edited to correct an incorrect first name for Bill Maddocks.
Olivia joins us from WLVR/Lehigh Valley Public Media, where she covered the Easton area in eastern Pennsylvania. She has also reported for WUWM in Milwaukee and WBEZ in Chicago.
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