More than 400 Concord residents sign anti-BearCat petition

Last modified: 8/27/2013 3:22:06 PM
More than 400 Concord residents have signed a petition against a city plan to acquire an armored BearCat vehicle with nearly $260,000 in federal grant funds, according to activists who protested outside City Hall yesterday.

“It is up to us to stop the bleeding,” said Pamela Ean, a spokeswoman for the movement. “The federal government will continue to spend money they do not have as long as local governments allow them to do so.”

The group said the 404 signatures were gathered during a four-hour period Saturday. They said they plan to continue collecting signatures until the city council votes on the issue at a meeting scheduled for Sept. 9.

The BearCat would be stored in Concord but used by the 20 member communities in the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit.

A rally announcing the petition signatures drew seven people holding signs and denouncing the vehicle, and a handful of unaffiliated observers.

Cathleen Converse of Barnstead said she heard about the rally online, and though she opposes the idea of Concord purchasing the vehicle, she came to the rally with an open mind. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was very pleased. I’m very interested in what they had to say. I learned some things. I’m glad I came,” she said.

“I’m anxious to see the petition, and I’m sure every councilor will be interested in seeing it,” said Mayor Jim Bouley, in a phone interview after the protest.

He encouraged all citizens interested in the situation to call their councilors before the vote.

Earlier this month, five councilors told the Monitor they would support accepting the money, two said they would oppose and five said they were still deciding or did not give an opinion. The item needs support from 10 of 15 councilors to pass.



(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)


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