Businesses seen boarding up in Union Square in anticipation of the post-election protests

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A day earlier than the US elections, rising ranges of apprehensions are felt as companies proceed to board up in preparation for the post-election protests. Unlike earlier election days which have been full of stress and a bit of anger and a few bitterness which have been a standard election narrative, the 2020 US Presidential Elections is leaning extra on ending in an unsettling word. 

In a creating story revealed by the New York Times to cowl the November 3 Elections, President Trump who had been vying for a reelection time period has reportedly made it clear that “he will not concede even if he appears to be losing.” He has famous that he can be “mounting legal challenges in other states, including Nevada, because the governor there is a Democrat.” 

Democrat’s presidential nominee Joe Biden had been main the election polls throughout the marketing campaign interval with consultants even projecting his win in opposition to Trump. Thus far, 94 million folks have already casted their ballots, an early voting file based on ABC information. Early experiences point out that voter turnout skewed Republican though the majority of the ballots have been casted by Democrats which signifies that the full vote shouldn’t be but mirrored.

Cat Brooks, an Oakland-based activist, stated that “there will be a quieter response if former Vice President Joe Biden wins, unless Trump does something stupid, which I anticipate he will,” in an article revealed by The San Francisco Chronicle final October 30. She additionally famous that “several groups around the deep-blue Bay Area are planning different actions during election night.” That is, “there will be organized responses if President Trump wins re-election” however Brooks additionally famous the prospect of agitators should not discounted. 

The first board appeared final Tuesday seen at each Salesforce East and West that are owned by Kilroy Realty Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc, respectively. According to The San Francisco Business Times, Kilroy and Salesforce didn’t reply to any request for remark however it had sparked motion amongst neighboring companies to the complete Union Square and each massive and small companies have began to take essential precautions to safeguard their properties. 

In a press release to the newspaper, Karin Flood, govt director of the Union Square Business Development District stated, “Given the heightened attention and emotion around this year’s election, many businesses out of an abundance of caution are boarding up their entrances and windows in case of public unrest or protests across the political spectrum.” She additionally added, “Given events of this past spring and summer, it is not an unexpected precaution.”

Last March, coronavirus shelter-in-place orders had been enforced and companies in downtown San Francisco and the Union Square had closed storefronts and boarded up. In May, with the unrest following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and different folks of coloration as a consequence of racially-motivated police brutality, folks began filling in the empty streets and sidewalks of San Francisco for the Black Lives Matter Movement. At first the protests had been peaceable however had step by step devolved into looting and riots inflicting damages to many properties. 

Although some officers are advising companies to not board up as they worry that it could ship a distinct message with what’s speculated to be a peaceable election, Alameda County Sheriff Sgt. Ray Kelly additionally stated, “But we can understand why people are doing that. Some of those businesses are hanging on by a thread [due to] the coronavirus. They can’t afford $5,000 in window costs.”

According to the Union Square Business Improvement District, 75% of the companies in the high-end purchasing space are anticipated to board up together with Louis Vuitton and cafes like Starbucks. 

The supervisor of Men’s Wearhouse on Market Street, Carlos Garcia, stated that the retailer determined to board up when others on the block began to do in addition to revealed in an article by the SFGATE.  Garcia additionally stated that he’s hopeful that the further safety would show to be pointless. “I really feel like regardless of the outcomes of the election Californians are good sufficient to know it is counter-intuitive to riot. I’m actually hopeful that there might be no unrest in San Francisco,” Garcia stated. 

While some companies are busy masking up, there are additionally enterprise house owners like Danny Stoller and Marc Shechter of Square Pie Guys in SoMa who’re taking their probabilities pondering that boarding up may very well make their enterprise extra of a goal. 

Schechter stated, “You never know what’s going to happen during a protest, but usually aggression is toward big corporations, not small restaurants.”

The San Francisco Police Department has acknowledged via a spokesman that “there are no known threats to the city or polling places.” But the division can be making ready if help can be wanted on November 3 and has reportedly cancelled discretionary days off for officers and “will have resources to respond to routine calls for service as well as any spontaneous events that may occur.”

Thomas Lake

Resident tech nerd for the SF Times.