Austin TX is home of Alex Jones, a conspiracy-theorist radio/internet guy. He leads such protests by people who say Smart Meter's radio frequency is giving them cancer, spying on their energy usage is tyranny and so on. Austin - both good and bad. Still is a great place... Austin was also home to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bill Hicks and other American treasures.
As some new-agers say "you co-create the world you want to live in". I think some of that is very true. If they want to believe they live in a world where smart meters are government spying on you - go right ahead and think that. Protest away. Paranoia is very debilitating.