iN PHOTOS: Fearing election unrest U.S. businesses are getting ready | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN PHOTOS: Fearing election unrest U.S. businesses are getting ready

Ahead of the presidential election, workers with Baguer Construction LLC board up a Walgreens on U Street NW, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Washington. The site manager said they had been hired to put protective coverings on several Walgreens throughout the city.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
November 03, 2020 - 11:46 AM

Judging by the plywood, it’s shaping up to be an Election Day like no other.

In downtown Washington, the sounds of hammers and power tools echoed through the streets Monday as workers boarded up dozens of businesses. In New York City, businesses from Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square to high-end shops in Manhattan’s chic SoHo neighborhood had already covered their windows. Similar scenes played out in Denver and St. Paul, Minnesota, with business owners fearing that Tuesday’s election could lead to the sort of unrest that broke out earlier this year.

A man walks past a boarded-up window at a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, ahead of Election Day.
A man walks past a boarded-up window at a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, ahead of Election Day.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Just a short walk from the White House, construction workers were carrying large sheets of plywood. For block after block, most stores had their windows and doors covered. Some kept just a front door open, hoping to attract a little business.

“We have to be ready,” said Ali Khan 66, who works at a now-barricaded downtown Washington liquor store where thousands of dollars in merchandise was stolen in June protests. “They smashed the windows and just walked out with everything.”

Workers board up the windows of a Santander Bank branch on Boylston Street, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Boston.
Workers board up the windows of a Santander Bank branch on Boylston Street, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Boston.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Washington authorities pledged to keep the peace, with police officials saying the entire department would be on the job on Election Day.

“Some people would like to cause mayhem and trouble,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. She also said she had never seen so many businesses being boarded up: “That all saddens me.”

Activists are preparing for another long-term occupation of Black Lives Matter Plaza, one block from the White House.

People walk past a partially-boarded up Saks Fifth Avenue, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in New York. Retailers including Nordstrom, Tiffany and Saks are planning to board up their windows or add extra security personnel in some of their locations ahead of the contentious presidential election on Tuesday.
People walk past a partially-boarded up Saks Fifth Avenue, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in New York. Retailers including Nordstrom, Tiffany and Saks are planning to board up their windows or add extra security personnel in some of their locations ahead of the contentious presidential election on Tuesday.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

In New York City, a police department memo to officers called the vote “one of the most highly contested presidential elections in the modern era” and noted that the winner “may not be decided for several weeks.”

Police there have been holding tabletop exercises to prepare for potential unrest and shifting hundreds of officers to patrol duties.

Workers board up the Macy's on State Street ahead of Election Day in Chicago on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
Workers board up the Macy's on State Street ahead of Election Day in Chicago on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
Image Credit: (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)

“We want to be very careful not to either over-police, because that that could send a signal, or under-police,” said John Miller, the department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking last week on a local radio show, said it was too early to predict what would happen, but that the city would be ready.

“We’re going to be prepared for a lot of protests, prolonged protests, potentially different protest groups confronting each other,” he said. “If anything turns violent, we’re going to move to stop that immediately.”

Artist Shane Grammer paints a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. on the sheets of plywood outside a boarded-up jewelry shop amid worries about potential demonstrations and violent responses to the general election on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Artist Shane Grammer paints a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. on the sheets of plywood outside a boarded-up jewelry shop amid worries about potential demonstrations and violent responses to the general election on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
News from © The Associated Press, 2020
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