Amid an economy paralyzed by the Covid-19 regulations, closed Catholic churches and rioters tearing down statues and torching businesses, our 14-man team of young volunteers arrived in Bakersfield, California on June 23. We brought a message of calm, courage, and confidence for the astonished locals.
This caravan is part of a nationwide tour of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) to hold a rosary rally in every single state capital, praying for America’s return to God and order.
In route to California, our caravan group stopped at Grand Canyon National Park, one of the most geographically magnificent regions in the country. The young caravaners stood on the edge of the canyon’s rim overlooking the Colorado River a mile below. The TFP battle cry of “Tradition, Family, Property, America!” echoed through the Grand Canyon. After spending some time contemplating the vast panoramas, we got back on the road for an eight-hour drive to Bakersfield, California.
The next day, we campaigned in front of the city hall in downtown Bakersfield. This campaign was significant because it was the first time a TFP caravan has visited California in twelve years. The last visit to the Golden State was for the 2008 traditional marriage campaign.
Locals were extremely supportive. Just as the campaign started, a man in a food truck shouted enthusiastically: “I’m from Cuba. It’s communist there, and I hate communists! Thank you!”
Another gentleman saw the sign reading “Honk against socialism,” he said: “That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. This country is turning communist.” Another person thought the same thing: “Yes! Yes! We’re definitely heading towards a communist direction, and I hate that!”
As the campaign progressed, more and more people showed their support. One lady gave a donation to the caravan and told a volunteer: “Thank you. I’m praying for you all.”
Even the homeless community showed support. One homeless man was particularly happy to see us “Honk! Honk! I love God! Jesus Christ!” Another one told us, “I honk from my heart.”
When rioters are targeting police officers across America, members take every opportunity to support the police. One way we help them is by offering Saint Michael medals for their protection.
Two police officers smiled and waved from their cruiser. When a volunteer offered them Saint Michael medals, they said, “Wow! Thank you very much.”
Many people were curious and asked for flyers. Everyone agreed that America was in urgent need of a return to God and order. One man in a suit came up and said, “Thank you for what you’re doing. It means a lot to people like me who have to support a family. Because when we express our feelings, sometimes people in high places can fire us because of our political views.”
Some people weren’t terribly happy to see us. As one woman screeched past us, we heard her yell, “Grow up and get a job!”
One person shouted obscenities while another woman lost her cool when she saw our anti-socialism sign and screamed, “Vote Bernie!”
A car with a heavily tattooed man inside pulled up at the corner. “Why would God care about this? What do you mean by socialism? I don’t see socialism here!” he hollered.
“What about the Catholic churches being closed by the government?” a member asked, but the man stormed off because he didn’t have any more arguments.
From Bakersfield, we continued north to Fresno for another street campaign. People from all walks of life offered their encouragement. One homeless man told us, “If I had a horn, I’d honk.”
One fellow approached our cameraman with some questions, “Against socialism? I thought that was popular these days. I thought I was one of the only people against socialism. This is so refreshing to see.”
A family approached us and were curious to know more about the campaign. The husband asked what we meant by “socialism.” We explained to him how the coronavirus was being used as a justification to impose more socialist policies and regulations.
“Yeah,” the man agreed, “like the closing of all those churches? The state has no business telling churches what to do. God bless you and stay safe.”
Another man wanted to know about the TFP standard. We told him that the “red flag” was a symbol of our organization and that we were against socialism. The man enthusiastically replied, “That’s awesome! That’s exactly what we need.”
The site of the campaign was near a rough area of town. We observed many shady-looking characters. One person yelled, “I love Satan!”
Rosary Rallies for America: Good vs. Evil
A car whizzed by, and a bottle of soda flew from the open window exploding among several volunteers. “I’ll have to dry clean my blazer,” lamented TFP volunteer Diego as he pointed at a huge soda stain on his jacket. This attack was totally unexpected. However, we kept a lookout for the car in case it should return. It did return, and this time, they threw a jar of honey, which missed the volunteers and splattering on the street under a nearby car.
Unphased by this cowardly attack, we were more determined than ever to continue our campaigns in the Golden State. By the grace of God and Our Lady, we will continue to spread the return to order message throughout California.
Our Lady of Victory! Pray for us!