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Area bar owners, servers, musicians protest governor’s order

Area bar owners, servers, musicians and others who make a living in the bar industry were in Austin Tuesday to join a protest against the governor’s decision to shut down bars in an effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases. (File)
Area bar owners, servers, musicians and others who make a living in the bar industry were in Austin Tuesday to join a protest against the governor’s decision to shut down bars in an effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases. (File)(KOSA)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 6:22 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) - A group of area bar owners, servers, musicians and others who make a living in the bar industry were in Austin Tuesday to join a protest against Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision last week to shut down bars in an effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The protest was organized by an organization called Texas Bars Fight Back, which is based in Palestine and started with a bar owner who felt unfairly singled out by the order.

The Facebook group now has more than 11,500 members.

Tuesday’s rally consisted of speeches from effected bar owners and workers who held signs and then marched on to the Governor’s Mansion

Abbott did not make an appearance.

Johnnie Bradshaw who has been a fixture in the local music scene for 55 years was one of a handful from Central Texas who attended.

"I think that bars may have had something to do with the spread of COVID, but you go into H-E-B and Walmart and (you see) people who don't wear masks...I believe they did too and they aren't shut down. So yes I think bars are being singled out to where they can't even make a living." Bradshaw said.

H-E-B, which already requires customers to wear masks in about 80% of its stores, will extend the requirement to all stores effective Wednesday.

Texas Bars Fight Back believes bars can reopen safely as long as everyone follows safety guidelines land observes occupancy limits.

Monday a group of 30 Texas bars owners filed a lawsuit in the hopes of reversing the governor’s decision.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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