November 22nd, 2011
02:57 PM ET
Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – A small group of Occupy New Hampshire activists disrupted a speech by President Barack Obama at a Manchester high school Tuesday.
The group of protesters, modeled after the Occupy Wall Street movement, began chanting soon after Obama took the stage.
“Mic check,” one called, and then a handful of people in the audience chanted in response. According to one man who took part in the chant, the group wanted Obama to “stop the assault” on peaceful protesters who had been arrested as part of the OWS movement.
The activists’ words were difficult to hear in the school gymnasium, and after several moments of confusion, students in the audience began to chant “Obama” to drown out the protesters.
Obama listened to the shouts and then responded to the disruption.
“I appreciate you guys making your point. Let me go ahead and make mine,” he said. “I’ll listen to you, you listen to me.”
Later in his speech Obama returned to the theme.
“Families like yours, young people like the ones here today, including the ones who were just chanting at me, you’re the reason I ran for office in the first place,” he said.
Tom LaValley took part in the disruption and said he appreciated that the president had allowed the group of about 20 people to speak.
“We want to tell the president that we are frustrated,” LaValley said. “It’s not just Wall Street. There are people in every state that are frustrated.
Obama’s speech was largely devoted to his plan to extend a payroll tax cut he said would help middle-class Americans.