Businesses across America are boarding up.
There have been 58 presidential elections, and power has either been peacefully transferred each time or the losing candidate has graciously conceded. However, Americans are deeply concerned about the 2020 election.
“A study released in mid-October warned that five states — Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Oregon — were at risk to experience increased militia activity ahead of the elections and afterward,” The Hill reported. “That report, which was released by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project and MilitiaWatch, also determined that North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, California and New Mexico were at moderate risk to see increased active militias during the same time period.”
In response, businesses in cities across the U.S. are taking precautions. Retailers are already on edge in cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Portland after rioters smashed windows, looted stores, and set some on fire.
In New York City, “stores in Soho, Midtown, and other parts of Manhattan have already fortified their glass windows with plywood,” the New York Post reported. “Shops including Chanel on Spring Street in Soho, Levi’s and Gucci in the neighborhood and others along Greene Street like Dior have taken those precautions.”
“Also boarded up were chain stores such as Staples, Ann Taylor, and a Bed Bath & Beyond in Chelsea, as well as the iconic Macy’s flagship in Herald Square. High-end Manhattan retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton, Bergdorf Goodman and Tourneau have also boarded up their storefronts,” the Post reported.
In the Big Apple, the Guardian Angels, a volunteer group that patrols communities to prevent crime, announced it will be out in the streets on Election Night to protect neighborhoods.
“We will be in the streets because we anticipate, one side or the other may not be happy with the outcome of Nov. 3,” Curtis Sliwa, the organization’s founder, said in a statement. “The Guardian Angels will be protecting cities against rioters, violent protestors, and militias, who may be planning on capitalizing on protests on Election Day,” he said.
Plywood is going up across New York City, and the city’s police commissioner Dermot Shea ordered garbage cans removed from streets to prevent them from being used as projectiles. The New York Police Department also advised some restaurants to remove chairs and tables that have been used for outdoor dining in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, storefronts are boarding up ahead of Election Day in anticipation of looting and rioting.
Buildings around Market Street, from the Salesforce Tower to San Francisco Centre, are covered in massive pieces of plywood,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported, adding, “On Friday afternoon, Macy’s on Union Square was already fully covered and a crew was working on Neiman Marcus.”
“The Union Square Business Improvement District told the San Francisco Chronicle it expects 75% of businesses to board up,” the paper added.
Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti said on Twitter that the city is taking a “proactive approach” and closing down Rodeo Drive on Election Day and the following day.
“Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Police Department informed officers that it had designated Nov. 2 to 9 as a ‘special event,’ with modified hours and limited time off for anyone,” The Los Angeles Times reported.