“You guys stopped a riot. There was a riot that was about to…

“You guys stopped a riot. There was a riot that was about to happen and you guys stopped it.”
Amarendra: In 1972 before the New Vrindavan festival, I went down to Miami Beach for the 1972 Republican convention.
With Mahavir, who was a good friend of mine, we put together a prasadam program for all the demonstrators who were camping out at Miami Beach at a place called Flamingo Park.
Every day we would bring prasadam and feed all the protestors who were there to disrupt the Republican convention.
We became very popular and one night we were having a street sankirtan in front of the convention center.
It was getting dark and we were going through the crowd single file and we couldn’t really see where we were.
There were eight or nine of us and all of a sudden T.V lights turned on out of the darkness.
As we looked around, we saw on one side thousands of angry anti-war demonstrators getting ready to storm the convention center.
On the other side, there were hundreds of police, national guardsmen and state police in their riot gear with shotguns.
We were right smack dab in the middle between these two camps.
When we realized our situation, the whole sankirtan party shot up three to four feet in the air and started chanting for our lives.
We thought we were going to get caught right in the middle of this confrontation.
As we started chanting, the crowds started to mellow out a little bit.
Allan Ginsberg was there and he came up and started chanting with us.
Then the leaders of the anti-war demonstration came up to us because they were furious.
Outraged, they said, “You’re ruining it for us! You’ve got to stop this chanting! You’ve got to get out of here!”
They were chanting their chants about not wanting the war and they had the crowd worked up through sound vibration.
But when we started chanting, we neutralized the impact of their sound vibration by the maha-mantra.
After a few minutes, more and more people started dancing and chanting with us.
A detective from the Miami police department then came over to us and asked,
“Could you please lead these people back to the park?”
We headed back to the park and the whole crowd just followed us.
Later that night, that same police detective came back to us, bought a book, gave a donation and told us,
“You guys stopped a riot. There was a riot that was about to happen and you guys stopped it.”
I told Prabhupada that story at another darshan and he said, “Oh, just see the power of the Holy Name.”
—Amarendra

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