BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As riots escalated at the nation’s Capitol today, another event happened locally, organizers called it a Pushback with Prayer, an event aiming to rally against what they call political darkness.
Many people were stunned at some of the images coming from the U.S. Capitol today, and a small group that gathered downtown today said they feel it’s possibly more important than ever to promote the idea of togetherness.
“It doesn't matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, doesn't matter if you have any political affiliation at all,” said Pastor Angelo Frazier, of Riverlakes Church.
Pastor Angelo Frazier is outspoken about many things, and amid a very divisive time, he helped organize a small event in order to, what he calls, push out the political darkness.
“We’re gonna pray for our leaders, elected officials, small businesses, law enforcement, people on both sides of the aisle," said Frazier.
The peaceful gathering took place outside the Kern County Superior Court in downtown Bakersfield, as protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday in response to claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election without any evidence.
“I could not be sadder and more disappointed with the way our country looks at this very moment. People are getting hurt,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, CBS News.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of Bakersfield, called into national news programs giving his reaction also stressing the importance of uniting.
McCarthy says, “As a nation, we’ve got to come together. This is unacceptable what I see happening at this very moment. We can disagree, but we do not take it to this level.”
The other Congress member elected in Kern County, David Valadao, who represents California's 21st district, shared a similar sentiment tweeting:
The behavior of these "protesters" on the Capitol Complex is absolutely abhorrent. This is un-American. I denounce this behavior to the fullest extent. We are so much better than this.— Rep. David Valadao (@RepDavidValadao) January 6, 2021
In Bakersfield, Pastor Frazier says he hopes the community’s focus won’t be on winning or losing.
"...and when this is done, we still continue to pray, so no matter who wins and who loses we still continue to pray.”
Local state senator Shannon Grove also denounced what the D.C. Metro police are calling “riots” at the capitol.
This is unacceptable. America guarantees the freedom of speech and to protest, but this is not the way to settle differences. Enough.— Senator Shannon Grove (@ShannonGroveCA) January 6, 2021