Bandimere draws unmasked crowd to oppose health orders

'Let's take it back' is motto of politically charged event

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/4/20

Face masks were rare and MAGA hats and red, white and blue were plentiful on Sept. 1 at Bandimere Speedway as a crowd descended on the race track to protest what organizers called “unconstitutional …

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Bandimere draws unmasked crowd to oppose health orders

'Let's take it back' is motto of politically charged event

Posted

Face masks were rare and MAGA hats and red, white and blue were plentiful on Sept. 1 at Bandimere Speedway as a crowd descended on the race track to protest what organizers called “unconstitutional Public Health Orders and Executive Orders.”

The event, promoted by the speedway as the “Stop the COVID Chaos” rally, put the track back into the spotlight it has occupied for much of the summer as it held a July 4 event in violation of Public Health Orders and later faced off against Jefferson County Public Health in court over health orders.

The lead-up to the rally further intensified that battle as JCPH sent the Bandimere family an email warning them that any event at the race track must “follow all Public Health Order Requirements.”

Despite that warning the vast majority of attendees eschewed mask wearing and social distancing at the end of the event as they gathered on the track for a massive group photo in protest of distancing requirements.

Bandimere Speedway has not responded to a call from Colorado Community Media inquiring about attendance at the event and JCPH spokesperson Nicole Work said the agency also did not know how big the crowd was.

"We don’t have an estimate, as we don’t want to speculate on crowd sizing, and reports from different sources have ranged widely. What was clear was that it was more than 175," said Work in an email.

Randy Corporon, the attorney for the Bandimere family who said he was filing a lawsuit on their behalf challenging the constitutionality of those orders, told the crowd the rally was a way of standing up to Gov. Jared Polis and his executive orders.

“I don’t think anybody that’s standing here tonight objected to staying home and letting things sort out so we could understand what we were up against and who was at risk,” Corporon. “We are heading into the sixth month of emergency powers being exerted by Gov. Jared Polis and it needs to stop.”

Corporon also said that while it was too late to salvage Bandimere’s racing season and maybe too late to save the track altogether, the lawsuit was about “putting a stop to this now and never ever letting this happen again.”

Those sentiments were echoed in ominous terms by conservative personality Michelle Malkin, who repeatedly referred to the health orders as a constituting “anarcho-tyranny” and appeared to call for those in the crowd to rise up against those in power.

“We need men who are prepared and who are trained and who are willing and able to do what they need to do,” Malkin said. “And God bless each and every one of you.”

Many of the speakers also referenced the recent violence that has taken place around protests in Denver, Kenosha and other cities.

“We have some media here and if you quote one thing from me here’s what I want it to be: This is what a peaceful protest looks like,” said Republican state Rep. Patrick neville, the Colorado House minority leader, who unsuccessfully attempted to sue Democratic Gov. Jared Polis over his mask order at the Colorado Supreme Court. “Notice there are no fires behind me and no broken windows. It’s just a bunch of patriots standing up for their liberty and freedom.”

Among those who attended the rally was Eric Manning, who carried with him a flag depicting Donald Trump as the Terminator. Manning said he supports Trump because he is an “outstanding man who is fighting for our freedoms.”

“I think the coronavirus is a hoax just like AOC and the Green New Deal,” Manning said.

During the rally speakers called for attendees to take actions ranging from voting for Donald Trump and other Republicans in the November election to making financial contributions to support a lawsuit, which Corporon said would be a very expensive process.

“But for tonight let’s enjoy being free in the freest, most successful, most secure country this world has ever seen,” Corporon said to cheers of “USA USA USA”. “And let’s take it back.”

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