East Texas bar holds protest against governor’s shutdown

Updated: Jun. 28, 2020 at 10:09 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Some East Texas bars say they feel targeted by state directives trying to control the spread of COVID-19, and one business decided to make their voice heard.

A gathering outside the Machine Shed in Gregg County was a protest against the governor’s rules restricting bars and taverns over COVID-19.

Rules they feel are exceedingly unfair.

“The greatest fraud every perpetrated on the public is this coronavirus. The purpose of government is not to protect our health. I’ll protect my own health thank you. And I’ll protect the health of my patients. We’re responsible for our health not the government,” said Dr. Stephen Hotze, who traveled from Houston for the protest.

"Texas bars were beginning in the stages of recovery , and then you target us. Why?" said supporter Shenita Cleveland.

Supporters came from as far as Forth Worth and Houston, and included a candidate for congress.

“The government does not have the right to discriminate on who is allowed to make a living and who is not,” said Christy Mowrey who is running in the 32nd Congressional District near Dallas.

“There’s probably 30,000 people I’ve met on Facebook alone that are without jobs. A lady came up to me and said I have five kids at home. What am I going to do?” said Helen Bergeron of Saratoga.

All business conducted as take-out, but all in support of the protest, which they will take to Austin.

“Looks like a couple of thousand people going to be meeting at the steps at the capitol in Austin Tuesday. We’re close to 8,000 members in two days. We’ve got employees, that’s their livelihood, everybody’s got bills to pay and mouths to feed,” said Chris Bergeron, who along with wife Helen, own “Chutters” in Pasadena Texas.

“Governor Abbott has chosen to violate the state constitution. Starting Monday we are challenging what’s called GA-28, which is the most recent order which among other things closes bars down. Why hasn’t he let our legislators discuss this issue,” said Houston attorney Jared Woodfill.

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