FRESNO, Ca -
They're riders with a message. Cycling to spread the word about a hidden crime. One that targets victims who often aren't empowered to speak for themselves.
About 17 cyclists coasted into the Holy Family Episcopal church in Fresno. They're over half-way into 760 mile biking journey to raise awareness about victims of human trafficking.
David Rice is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. He's among those leading the way in this Tour Against Trafficking. He says, "These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Our sisters and brothers who live on the margins. We believe as a church.. As a community we need to address this human rights issue. This anti-gospel issue. To join with our sisters and brothers and make a difference in their lives."
They're arrival today in Fresno about 400 miles into the trip had a party atmosphere. But the underlying theme is serious. It got the attention of Fresno City Council member Clint Olivier. According to Olivier, "It's a protest. It's a gathering of activists. The people here are advocating for people who don't have a voice-- people who've lost their voice."
This is also a fund raising mission. The group has raised $31,000 so far-- money to be donated to agencies working to eradicate trafficking.
They trip will continue north in the valley, ending in Modesto on October 23rd.