by Chris Bailey
18 October 2021, Ventura County California
At 8:45AM there was a little cluster of parents and their children on the approach of the Ventura County School Superintendent parking lot. One parent from Pleasant Valley School District, another from Conejo Valley Unified. A woman who has grandchildren in school couldn’t contain herself with the upset she felt from a mandate imposed by Governor Newsom on very young children. “My sister got that Swine Flu shot, and was never right again, and she never got nothing for her misery. For her obedience.”
More cars trickled in and the crowd started to grow. By 9:00AM there were approximately 100 Moms, Dads, and children with hand made signs on both sides of the street, peacefully protesting a mandate that none of them feel is necessary.
One father from Ventura stated, “We will pull our child from school if they force him to get vaccinated. We have a plan to move to a relative’s house out of state, and enroll where this isn’t so crazy.” He went on to say he isn’t anti-vax, just against a shot that hasn’t been tested enough. “My child is NOT an experiment.” He agreed he would vaccinate for COVID-19 if a few years go by, and there is more data to make a wise decision.
Parents came from Somis, Ventura, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Oxnard and there were three parents from Los Angeles who stayed for the morning protest.
By 9:30AM the rally had grown to 350, and all cheered when the first Ventura County Sheriff SUV rolled slowly down the street to take in the size of the crowd.
Someone hollered “Let’s go!” and the throng walked up Verdugo Way toward Santa Rosa Road, protest signs and flags waving.
Covering both corners at McDonald’s and the Chevron Station on Santa Rosa Road, and swelling across the street to Adolfo Camarillo High School, the No Mandate Crowd cheered as motorists passed, honking their horns. The 805 beer truck let out an air horn as it passed, and the crowd screamed in approval. Richard from Somis was waving an American Flag and said he pulled his kids from Pleasant Valley School District last year, and they are currently enrolled in a private school. “We are planning our exit from California. We aren’t going to wait for the Governor to decide it’s child abuse to withhold a vax from our kids. Cole Brocato running for State Assembly in the 37th District arrived with a big megaphone and a huge flag. The crowd chanted “ No More Mandates”, and “Let’s Go Brandon”.
After the walk back to the Education Office, the rally gathered for a group photo, and quietly dispersed. Of the 25 participants I interviewed, there were only a few who had the same reasons for coming to the rally. To a person, however, they all seemed to be very fed up with what is happening in California.
Chris Bailey is a reporter-at-large of citizensjournal.us, a business owner, military veteran and longtime resident of Camarillo