Anti-mask protesters and conspiracy theorists rallied in Austin, on Sunday, after Texas authorities ordered businesses to require employees and customers to wear face masks when social distancing cannot be observed.
Demonstrators were heard chanting «We can't breathe,» misappropriating the last words of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of a white police officer, «I can't breathe.»
Far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones led the march and said COVID-19 was a «hoax» and called for the arrest of Bill Gates.
A protester, citing conspiracy theories, said «we are not going to wear a mask that is going to cause us not to be able to have fresh air, we were born to have fresh air so that we can breathe, to be a human being.»
State troopers and police were also present at the demonstration, as well as counter-protesters. Some heated arguments broke out between the two sides.
Texas reversed its reopening amid a surge in coronavirus cases.