Hundreds gather to protest Harris County face mask order

HOUSTON – Hundreds of protestors expressed their anger toward Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s order requiring all county residents to wear face masks in public. The large group gathered outside the Harris County Administration Building in downtown Houston Wednesday.

The protest, similar to others taking place across the country, highlighted the growing tension between personal liberty and public health in a time of national crisis.

About 200 people carrying signs, flags and bull horns gathered on the sidewalk.

“I’m tired of the government trying to tell us what to do," said protestor Marga Matthews.

The protest was organized by longtime conservative activist Dr. Steven Hotze and attorney Jared Woodfill, the former chairman of the Harris County Republican Party.

They also filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block the order requiring all county residents to wear face masks, to wash their hands, and to not touch their faces for 30 days on pain of a one thousand dollars fine.

Their lawsuit contends Judge Hidalgo’s order is unconstitutional and an overreach of her power.

“The order that we’re dealing with right now we believe is an unconstitutional, trampling and infringement on our liberties,” Woodfill said. “This is one individual who is dictating from her office over there on Preston as to what we can or can’t do.”