Businesses and shops across America, in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, have begun boarding up windows and entrances as they prepare for Election Day chaos, which is expected to turn violent.
While most businesses began boarding up their windows as early as last week, several businesses continue to prepare last minute.
“Driving through downtown LA…so many businesses boarded up & in the process of boarding up,” wrote Fox 11 journalist Bill Melugin, who shared images to social media.
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 (@KNXSimpson) November 1, 2020
Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti announced last week that the famed Rodeo Drive will close on Election Day in an effort to combat expected violence and destruction. Rivetti also stated that the Beverly Hills Police Department would be on “full alert” throughout the election process.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 3, 2020
In New York, two major retailers have announced safety measures ahead of “election-related activity” and “civil unrest.”
Tiffany & Company stated, “windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election-related activity,” and Saks Fifth Avenue said it is “implementing additional security measures at certain locations in the event of civil unrest due to the current election.”
The New York Post has also reported that stores in the “Big Apple like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Bergdorf Goodman, Dolce & Gabbana and Tourneau have also placed boards over their storefronts in anticipation of election-related protests.”
In San Francisco, the city’s tallest building, Salesforce Tower, placed plywood over its ground-floor doors and windows, as shown in a photo shared to Twitter by San Francisco Chronicle’s Jessica Christian.
They’re boarding up everything, even Salesforce Tower pic.twitter.com/3SirSyRIw1
— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) October 30, 2020
Other social media users shared photos from Seattle, Washington, and Santa Monica, California, of businesses that fear riots on Tuesday. The image from Santa Monica shows a Target boarding its windows up to protect from damage and looting.
“We take precautions to foster a safe environment in our stores because our top priority is the safety of our team members and guests,” Target said in a statement to USA Today: “We make decisions about the operations of our stores on a case by case basis, as we have when protests have occurred in our communities before.”
Out my window looking at Union right near CHOP/CHAZ in Seattle, the boards have gone up all over the city pic.twitter.com/HDVUazKejR
— Will Waltz (@willwaltz) October 30, 2020
Home Depot also expressed its concern over Election Day chaos, saying in a statement to USA Today:
We’re always evaluating the security needs of all our locations and actively plan for many situations, including the political environment. We can’t share specifics, as that would be counterproductive to our efforts, but our teams are very focused on the safety of our associates and customers.
Boston25 journalist Malini Basu shared images of businesses from the Prudential Center in Boston, which shows wooden barriers protecting the windows from damage.
— Malini Basu (@MaliniBasu_) October 29, 2020
Businesses in Portland, Oregon, which have become seemingly accustomed to violent protests and demonstrations, have also prepared for civil unrest on Election Day.
Good morning from an eerily quiet #Portland, Oregon—one of the major American cities preparing for any scenario in the wake of Tuesday’s #USElection. We’ll be on the ground all week covering the latest developments in #Oregon for @GlobalNational, and all @globalnews platforms. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/i3IjJINinp
— Sarah MacDonald (@smacdonald__) October 30, 2020
Other photos shared on Twitter throughout the last week have shown business owners in Washington, D.C., preparing for civil unrest on Election Day as they board up their storefront windows.
Luxury shops in DC are boarding up in anticipation of the election. pic.twitter.com/3VMVkvoMsG
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) October 29, 2020
The New York Post has reported that “several prominent DC businesses are even planning to close for Election Day or the entire week.”
“We do not advise parking or driving downtown,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser warned at a press conference last week.
— Adam Tuss (@AdamTuss) October 28, 2020
Businesses in Raleigh, North Carolina, are also preparing for unwarranted chaos and damage to their storefronts.
WATCH: Business are boarding up in Raleigh, NC ahead of anticipated Election Day unrest. pic.twitter.com/0ycr5CXRcs
— The Hill (@thehill) October 31, 2020
Chicago officials have also been preparing for political threats and violence on Election Day by holding “all-hazards” drills. Democrat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on a conference call:
Given what we experienced over the course of the spring and the summer, we can’t presume that what’s going to happen … is going to be peaceful. We are preparing for the worst. So what we’ve been doing is a lot of drilling, a lot of making sure that we break down barriers, that no one part of election security is operating in a silo.
A confidential document obtained by Breitbart News revealed Thursday that a coalition of left-wing groups in Minnesota who fear a Trump victory are preparing for post-election mass unrest while planning to execute wide-scale “strategic disruption.”
Several local police departments around the country are warning businesses to heed advice from officers and monitor social media for updates.
According to USA Today, “Portland Police are partnering with Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police to meet with local business organizations to prevent and prepare for potential problems.”
“Increase public safety by removing sandwich boards, furniture, and secure dumpsters outside of your business prior to events so these objects cannot be used as projectiles, barricades or fuel for fires,” stated a note signed by Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell and addressed to businesses.