NYC, Major Cities Board Storefronts to Prepare for Possible Election Civil Unrest

By the end of Tuesday, New York City businesses as well as major U.S. city retailers, are preparing for the potential violent protests on election night and the days following. As a measure of precaution, businesses big and small are boarding up storefronts and boosting security.

Luxury retailers including Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, and convenience and pharmacy stores like
CVS are boarding up early before the result of the 2020 election becomes conclusive. Plywood is
dotting windows along otherwise manicured streets. Metropolitan areas, including New York City,
Chicago, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles are among the first to display the altered storefronts.

“Every store owner has to make their own decision. I respect the decision of each store owner. We are not giving guidance to store owners to do that, but if that’s what they choose to do, we certainly
understand,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in his daily briefing yesterday. Some businesses are also shutting down early Tuesday afternoon.

De Blasio did not appear worried about violent opportunists in the streets. “A lot of preparation has
been happening over the last few weeks and I’m meeting with City officials, PD officials today to
continue that preparation,” De Blasio said.

The Mayor denies no specific threat on Election Night and is taking extra security measures as a precaution. De Blasio also ordered New York Police Department’s “mounted units,” or the special unit of officers on horseback, to stand back during demonstrations,
unless “absolutely necessary.”

After the majority of this summer witnessed civil unrest after the police killing of civilian George Floyd, stores are bracing for a second surge of violence on the night of the election. The first civil unrest of 2020 saw public property vandalized and stores looted. Shop owners remain cautious of this year’s potential second major civil unrest shuttering businesses longer than only through tomorrow.

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Ema Gavrilovic

Ema Gavrilovic is a graduate of DePaul University with M. Ed in clinical counseling degree. Ema's career accomplishments include freelance writing, social media and PR consulting. In her spare time Ema likes to explore outdoors, cooking and yoga.