Alex Jones has made a name for himself on the far-right by championing conspiracy theories. This week he took on the coronavirus pandemic, which he called a "power-grab hoax," at a public park in Texas. However, the teens assembled at the entrance of the public space to help enforce coronavirus policies appeared unimpressed with Jones as he screamed into a megaphone and called for civil disobedience.
As The Independent reported, Jones showed up at the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, Texas. The park has a rule in place that requires anyone who wants to visit to make a reservation in an attempt to limit the number of individuals who can gather in the public space.
The move is one of several made by the city of Austin to limit the spread of the disease. Rather than seeing it as a way to try to keep citizens healthy, Jones appeared to think that the presence of the teens, one of whom formerly worked as a lifeguard, was an affront to democracy.
"I've been coming here since I was in high school, college, and now you guys use your COVID hoax to, like, set a checkpoint up so you can take over the parks and start charging. It's unconstitutional, it's not even a city ordinance," he said. "It is an illegal power grab of the people's Greenbelt and its time to free Austin. This is outrageous criminal activity. This is a seizure of the infrastructure of the city of Austin."The city doesn't charge people to use the park, despite what Jones says, but does currently require a reservation. Jones said in the video that his wife attempted to go to the park, but was turned away because she didn't have a reservation.
The people surrounding Jones as he walked around shouting into his megaphone appeared to be disinterested, looking at their phones and largely ignoring him. At one point, a woman walked by and gave the middle finger to the camera following Jones around, which prompted him to ask if that was her IQ.
Celebrities and pundits were quick to respond to the video. Comedian Patton Oswalt weighed in on the matter.Actor Diedrich Bader joked about the size of Jones' bullhorn, noting that it appeared to be small, and said that it made him laugh in a tweet.
Jones has long argued that COVID-19 is a hoax, and his InfoWars app was recently banned by Google for making misleading claims about the virus.