Texas Bar Owner Organizes “Bar Lives Matter” Concert To Protest Governor’s Order
The Hill reports that several Texas bar owners are suing Governor Greg Abbott (R) over an executive order meant to stem the spread of COVID-19 that reimposes restrictions on bar operations.
- One bar owner, Tee Allen Parker of The Machine Shed Bar & Grill, hosted a “Bar Lives Matter” concert and protest outside his establishment on Sunday.
- Another crowd gathered at the capitol in Austin on Tuesday to speak grievances, KVUE reports.
- Parker, who also banned patrons from wearing masks in his establishment, told the Washington Post, “You can’t tell me that my tiny little bar is the problem. He’s the problem,” he said, speaking of Abbott.
- Houston attorney Jared Woodfill is representing Parker and 21 other plaintiffs. Woodfill claims that Abbott has illegally bypassed legislative processes. He also asserts that by imposing measures on bars while allowing other businesses, such as hair salons, to remain open, Abbott has unfairly singled out bars.
- Woodfill said, “Governor Abbott has chosen to sentence bar owners to bankruptcy” and while speaking to the Associated Press, he accused Abbott of “act[ing] like a king.”
- Parker bluntly said, “He’s targeting us, and it’s discrimination.”
Texas was among the first states to loosen restrictions imposed to mitigate COVID-19 spread, the Hill explains. Since then, Texas has broken its single-day record for COVID-19 cases several times in the month of June.
In an interview with KVIA at El Paso, Abbott said that he regrets allowing bars to reopen so early. He said,
If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the re-opening of bars… now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting… a bar setting, in reality, just doesn't work with a pandemic.