Protesters disrupt Obama N.H. speech

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Hecklers apparently connected with the Occupy Wall Street movement interrupted President Obama’s speech Tuesday at a high school in Manchester, N.H.

The president had just begun his remarks, urging Congress to expand a payroll tax cut, when a protester in the crowd shouted “mic check!” Mr. Obama stopped speaking as other protesters shouted in unison, “Mr. President — over 4,000 peaceful protesters — have been arrested.” The call-and-response tactic has been used by Occupy protesters in other locations around the country.

The protesters — a pool reporter traveling with the president said there were at least 10 — continued shouting at Mr. Obama for about one minute. Students in the audience at Central High School tried to shout down the protesters with their own cheer: “Fired up and ready to go.” That did not immediately catch on with the crowd, so the students switched to a resounding “O-bam-a” chant, which drowned out the protesters.

Mr. Obama then interrupted the chants by saying, “I’m going to be talking about a whole range of things today, and I appreciate you guys making your point. Let me make mine. I’ll listen to you, you listen to me.”

The president then continued his speech without further incident.

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