People Protest New Restrictions At Texas Capitol After Governor Says People Gathering In Bars Is Helping Coronavirus Spread

REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

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Protesters gathered Tuesday at the Texas state capitol in Austin to voice opposition to new restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Some signs at the rally read “Texas Bars Fight Back” and “Bar Lives Matter.” (RELATED: ‘Operation Haircut’: Michigan Barbers Defy Lockdown, Offer Haircuts On Capitol Lawn)

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently ordered all bars in the state to close after the state experienced a surge in coronavirus cases and a record number of hospitalizations. The governor said that he believed people gathering in bars were responsible for the surge. (RELATED: Los Angeles Sheriff Won’t Enforce County’s Order To Shut Down Beaches)

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health.”

A group of bar owners in the state announced a lawsuit Monday against Abbott, accusing him of violating their constitutional rights. Protests against coronavirus restrictions have become common in recent months, as most of the U.S. shut down earlier this year to combat the spread of the virus.

One of the more publicized protests against coronavirus restrictions occurred at the Michigan state capitol in April, when a group of armed protesters stormed the capitol building in defiance of Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown order.