People gather for competing rallies in downtown Denver

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“BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” protesters and Denver police officers are seen at Civic Center Park on Oct. 10, 2020. Credit: Evan Kruegel.

DENVER (KDVR) — People gathered for competing rallies in downtown Denver on Saturday afternoon.

There are two events planned: a “Patriot Muster” rally for a far-right militia group and a “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” that is being hosted by Denver Communists, Denver-Boulder Socialist Revolution and other groups, according to its Facebook page.

The latter event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.; Patriot Muster is set for 2 p.m.

According to Westword, the soup drive rally was planned after the right-wing rally, and its timing is not a coincidence.

“We scheduled our action after learning that the militia-fascists had called a ‘patriot muster’ against the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-fascists and Marxists,” a spokesperson for Denver Communists told Westword. “That’s us — guilty as charged and happy to oblige with our presence.”

The Facebook page for the soup drive states the following, in part:

“The plan is to set up our tables and tents in Civic Center Park, as near as we can be to the fascists. We’ll have soup for our family, music, speakers, communist books, and plenty of angry anti-fascist chants.We’ll be distributing soup to the hungry and collecting dry kitchen staples. If COVID-19 and mass unemployment has you down, we wanna feed you! We will also be collecting tarps, tents, sleeping bags, gallons of water, and socks for unhoused neighbors!”

John “Tig” Tiegen is organizing Patriot Muster.

He has organized rallies downtown before. In May, he rallied hundreds of motorcyclists to swarm the Colorado Capitol to protest Gov. Jared Polis’ orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We shouldn’t be waiting for the government to tell us, ‘OK, now it’s safe,” Tiegen said in May. “We should be able to decide when it’s safe for us.”

On Friday, the Denver Police Department posted the following message on Twitter:

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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