Infowars Supporters Interrupt Protest Against Plans to Reopen Texas

A rally outside the Texas Capitol building against Governor Gregg Abbott's plans to lift coronavirus restrictions and fully reopen businesses in the state was met with counter-protests by supporters of the conspiracy theorist site InfoWars.

A coalition of groups who expressed concerns about Abbott's decision to "100 percent" reopen Texas organized the rally for Monday, demanding service workers receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the state returns to normal.

One of the speakers at the rally, Karen Hamilton, said she has a heart condition and was forced to quit her job recently because the business planned to fully reopen on Wednesday.

"We don't have anywhere near herd immunity to be able to [not] have a mask mandate and to be able to have everything operating at 100 percent," Hamilton said, reported KVUE.

Speaking to KUT, Hamilton added: "[I've told them], 'I have a heart condition. I will die if any of you give this to me.' Even though I am only 27 years old. I'm in the category of people who look extremely healthy, but I'm just not."

During the protest, organized by the Austin Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the Restaurant Organizing Project and the Amplified Sound Coalition, a number of people wearing "InfoWars" T-shirts attempted to interrupt the speakers.

At one point, Jeannette Gregor, a bartender and event manager who co-founded the Amplified Sound Collective, had to shout over the supporters of the conspiracy site, owned by Alex Jones.

Jones, one of the most high-profile conspiracy theorists in the world, has previously staged anti-mask and lockdown protests in Texas.

Gregor argued that those who attempted to interrupt the protest demonstrated the threats that service workers have been dealing with in asking people to wear masks while restrictions were in place.

"This is exactly what essential workers have been dealing with at our jobs," she said at the rally. "It's people like you, and you, that argue with us nonstop."

The protest carried on without any major incident, and both sides eventually dispersed. The Texas Department of Public Safety has been contacted for comment.

Ahead of the rally, organizers said Abbott is putting people's lives at risks by making them return to work without being fully vaccinated.

"We're watching people die, you don't give them health care, you don't give them a living wage. You don't care, we are completely expendable to you," Crystal Maher, organizer and local restaurant worker, told KTBS.

"This is a big labor coalition. This isn't just restaurant workers, teachers, bus drivers. The people that run this city,"

While announcing the decision to reopen the state, Abbott said that Texas now has the protocols to protect residents from COVID-19 due to "medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs."

He added: "We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent."

(File photo) Protesters gather at the Texas State Capital building on April 18, 2020 in Austin, Texas. A rally against Gregg Abbott's plans to fully reopen businesses was met with counter-protests by supporters of the conspiracy theorist site InfoWars. Sergio Flores/Getty Images