Cities across the United States are bracing themselves in anticipation of Election Day demonstrations after months of destructive riots. Businesses are boarding up and law enforcement agencies are boosting their presence as Election Day approaches.
During this summer’s demonstrations, several cities boarded up doors and windows, shut down transit, blocked off public spaces and put curfews in place in an attempt to diffuse the unrest. Similar measures have been taken in recent days ahead of the election.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in major cities across the country.
Businesses all around Washington, D.C. have been boarding up their windows since last week.
Washington DC: Businesses all around the nation’s capitol are boarding up in preparation for predicted civil unrest upon determination of the 2020 election results. pic.twitter.com/kfwPK6Z8IZ
— Kalen From Scriberr (@FromKalen) October 30, 2020
Activists for ShutDownDC, an anti-Trump movement calling for people to get “ready for an uprising,” have organized a gathering in Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC on Election Day where they will do “whatever it takes to defend democracy.” Calls to action such as these have pushed the city to prepare for a potentially tumultuous week. Dozens of law-enforcement agencies will reportedly overlap in an effort to protect the capital city, WJLA reported.
One user posted images of businesses boarded up in DC and estimated approximately half were boarded up.
Some buildings/businesses boarding up ahead of #Election2020 in downtown #DC
Important to note though—this isn’t universal. Hard to get an exact figure without walking every block, but I’d estimate at least half (probably more) are *not* currently boarded up@wusa9 pic.twitter.com/I982r2PGds
— Zach Merchant (@ZachMerchantTV) November 1, 2020
Another user shared images of a boarded-up CVS, Subway and several other buildings, along with the caption, “Elections aren’t supposed to be like this.”
Elections aren’t supposed to be like this
Just a few blocks from the White House… pic.twitter.com/M3jvsckyun
— Angelo Villagomez, I Already Voted Absentee (@TaotaoTasi) November 1, 2020
New York City
Video shows New York City bustling with construction to cover shopfront windows and doors with plywood ahead of Election Day.
Historic shopping districts are also boarded up.
Video showed businesses boarding up their windows and doors in West Hollywood.
FOXLA’s Bill Melugin posted on his Twitter account Friday showing businesses already boarding up in anticipation of looters and rioters. He said, “Driving through downtown LA…so many businesses boarded up [and] in the process of boarding up. Same thing happening in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica in anticipation of election night. All 3 areas hit hard by looters and rioters during George Floyd unrest.”
Driving through downtown LA…so many businesses boarded up & in the process of boarding up. Same thing happening in Beverly Hills & Santa Monica in anticipation of election night. All 3 areas hit hard by looters & rioters during George Floyd unrest. pic.twitter.com/wxrfs3ErDN
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) October 30, 2020
Mike Simpson of KNX1070 in Souther California also posted photos on Twitter of the boarded up city ahead of Election Day.
Lots of boarding up in #DTLA today. @KNX1070 pic.twitter.com/7OUNqRXXwy
— Mike Simpson (@KNXSimpson) November 1, 2020
The Windy City Police Superintendent David Brown said police will work to protect Chicagoan’s First Amendment rights, but that the police will take “swift action” against any looting in the city, NBC5 Chicago reported. Reflecting cities across the country, Chicago businesses have also started boarding up doors and windows.
Chicago all boarded up
— FJ News Reporter (@FJNewsReporter) November 2, 2020
Businesses in luxury areas of the city are also boarded up.
And in Chicago’s luxury Lincoln Park, land of multi-million dollar home$, businesses have boarded up.#Election2020 #Chicago #Sunday pic.twitter.com/jXVX6t8vcx
— Beverly A. Pekala (@PekalaLaw) November 1, 2020
Still reeling from a summer filled with civil unrest, one Twitter user pointed out that some Chicago businesses never took their original barricades down.
Downtown #Chicago was boarded up for months, and some places have bravely removed the boards, though some never came down. Welcome back btw! pic.twitter.com/DUiNiNBg6L
— Margaret (@metrolingua) October 31, 2020