PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Barbara Hilton said she had not gotten involved with CODEPINK until recently simply because she didn't like the color.
"I had been on their e-mail alert list for a couple of years but I didn't typically pay attention because I hated the color pink," Hilton said.
On Wednesday, the local CODEPINK chapter, which Hilton created, descended on Market Square with local celebrity Doris "Granny D" Haddock at the helm to advocate for peace.
Women wore clothing and carried signs in various shades of pink, with men alongside them, advocating for peace and an end to the war in Iraq.
Haddock, 97, is a political mover and shaker who walked 3,200 miles across the United States at the age of 89 to advocate for campaign finance reform and challenged Sen. Judd Gregg for U.S. Senate in 2004. That same year she did a 22,000 mile working women voter registration effort.
She said after the rally she doesn't often come out for such events, spending much of her time still advocating for public funding of state elections.
Haddock's voice carried softly through the crowd of women, many who strained to hear her over the downtown hubbub.
"My message today was to get involved," she said after the rally. "You have to continue to have involvement. If not, the whole thing will fall apart. A movement has started." Hilton said
Wednesday was not chosen for any particular reason as the day to hold the event, but that it was timely in light of discussions at the federal level regarding troop pull-out in Iraq, Hilton said.
"Because we have a never ending primary in New Hampshire I wanted to put CODEPINK in the faces of the presidential candidates as they come through," Hilton said. "I want the presence the group has down there (in Washington, D.C.) to be felt here as well."
Haddock said Sen. John Sununu had better change his ways or he would not be re-elected.
The Leftist Marching Band played and the group sang along to many of the tunes during the rally before marching with peace signs down Congress Street to Choozy Shooz and Le Club Boutique in Vaughan Mall. The store opened its doors to accommodate the gathering of women, offering cookies and lemonade.
Pink dresses in all styles and a variety of pink shoes were on display and for sale at a discount in honor of the event.
Thousands of people in more than 100 CODEPINK chapters throughout the country have largely opposed the war and occupation in Iraq through vigils, marches, rallies, non-violent civil disobedience, concerts and art exhibits. They have also stood up for a variety of issues at the intersection of peace and justice, a press release for the local chapter reads.
© 2007 Geo. J. Foster Company