The central Massachusetts town of Auburn was caught in a strange, quiet, tug of war Saturday between right-wing groups and demonstrators gathered to denounce them.

The group known as Super Happy Fun America, probably best known for its "straight pride parade" in Boston two years ago, organized what it called the "Refounding Fathers Festival" at Century Sportsman's Club in Auburn to fundraise for those who participated in Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Organizers asked attendees to donate to a fund for the legal fees of Natick Town Meeting member Sue Ianni and Super Happy Fun America vice president Mark Sahady, who were both charged for participating in the riot.

About two miles down the road from the gathering, which was on private property in a wooded, residential area with few parking options, around two dozen demonstrators organized by LGBTQ advocacy organization MassEquality gathered to denonce the meeting.

"We believe in free speech, but we believe that we have a responsibility to counter hate speech with positive messaging," said Tanya Neslusan, the executive director of MassEquality. "And freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences and freedom from accountability. And this is a means of having a little bit of accountability, a little bit of reckoning."

Protestors had an assortment of signs and flags, from a Black Lives Matter banner to a rainbow flag adorned with a "Don't Tread On Me" snake.

The group of protestors got what felt like a good deal of support from passing drivers, but it was hard to figure out why all of this was going down in usually tranquil Auburn.

Neslusan believes the choice of location was intentional.

"They know if they show up in Cambridge, if they show up in Somerville, if they show up even in Natick or Framingham, a lot of people are gonna know," she said. "I mean, one of the people they're having the fundraiser for is from Natick, you know? It would make sense to have it in Natick, there's a lot more venues. But out here, they feel that they can slip under the radar."

Jordan Evans, who is on the board of directors, lives in nearby Charlton. She said that Super Happy Fun America and other groups were trying to shore up support in a part of Massachusetts where they would possibly be received more warmly in than others.

"But we can't allow that to happen because the message that they're bringing is very destructive, very hurtful and will cause a lot of harm to marginalized people who live out in this community, as well as people who aren't a part of a marginalized community," she said. "I mean, this messaging is destructive for all of us."

Evans said the reaction from locals has been split.

Richard Manzo, who said he's a libertarian, said Super Happy Fun America has aimed at eroding civil liberties.

"People like to view Super Happy Fun America as a small, troll organization. But ultimately, the right is getting concerningly good at organizing," he said. "And the left and liberals and libertarians and conservatives across the nation need to get better at that skill as well."

GBH News attempted to make it to the gathering, where organizers were taking donations to get in and park. Several cars were parked, but it was difficult to see how many people were in attendance. Some people could be seen wearing clothing and paraphernalia that appeared to be celebrating former president Trump.

GBH News did not pay to enter the event and was unable to speak to participants.