Conservative youth plan to occupy Occupy Denver during PrideFest

Update, 9 a.m. June 16: This event has been canceled. Original post: Although the protesters are expecting a showdown, the results could be more like a meltdown: Tomorrow, members of the Young Americans for Freedom (conservative and libertarian youth) and Denver's South Suburban Freedom Fighters (formerly the South Suburban Young Republicans) will converge in Civic Center Park at 3 p.m. to occupy Occupy Denver -- almost nine months late.

"We've been hearing a lot about the Occupy people now, and I'm always reading stories about things they want and have done," says Jon Adams, who represents the University of Colorado at Denver branch of YAF. "I don't think they're as important a movement as they think they are, and they have a largely collectivist ideology, whether or not they understand what that means. We want to talk to them about their failed beliefs and record the entire thing."

According to Adams, protesters will "finally, once and for all" ask occupiers what their message is before uploading all of the results to YouTube. The Young Americans For Freedom have promoted the event through Facebook and on campus, where the club maintains a roster of about thirty members. They expect upward of fifty people at this weekend's event, which they chose "because it's convenient," Adams says.

Except it's not: Saturday falls smack in the middle of Denver's annual PrideFest celebration, which Occupy Denver, Occupy Greeley and Occupy Fort Collins will participate in throughout the weekend. "Oh," Adams says. "Hmmmm. We didn't know that." And it holds regular general assemblies -- at 3 p.m. every Saturday. (This information is listed publicly on Occupy Denver's website.)

Regardless, Adams says, the show will go on. "We just want to get to the bottom of what they believe," he says. He also hopes to promote what the Young Americans for Freedom believe -- pretty much the opposite -- with discussions about capitalism and the country's economic structure. "There's this huge ambiguity out there, and it's time someone understood. If we don't defend our belief in capitalism, the entire country will fall apart."

In the meantime, the group has no plans to be antagonistic, just to engage in discussion with any occupiers who happen to be absent from their general assembly and are somehow distinguishable from the concerts, booths, food trucks and other festivities of PrideFest. This is YAF's first major event outside of the DU campus.

"We're certainly not looking to agitate anyone," Adams says. "The goal is to keep it nice and calm."

And maybe lonely.

More from our Politics archive: "DU's Young Americans For Liberty extend the Occupy meme with 'Occupy the Honor Roll'."

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Kelsey Whipple
Contact: Kelsey Whipple