The main buildings and businesses in downtown Washington and New York have been shielded in recent days from the fear that incidents could occur during the day and riots could break out after the elections on November 3, installing in their windows and wooden paneled shop windows to avoid possible vandalism.
The climate of polarization in which these elections are being held, marked by the pandemic and preceded by the unprecedented protests in recent months around the Black Lives Matter movement, and the real possibility that the final result will take days to be known have generated concern about a potential outbreak of violence.
The continued statements of the president, Donald Trump, encouraging his supporters to mobilize to monitor that electoral fraud does not occur, added to his criticism of the postal vote and his refusal to openly commit to accept the results of the polls have led to warnings of a real risk of violence in a country where the possession of arms is also a right recognized by the Constitution and where, in particular, extreme-right groups have proliferated.
According to a recent Suffolk University poll for ‘USA TODAY’, three in four voters are concerned about the possibility of violence on Election Day, while only one in four is “very confident” that there will be a handoff. peace of power if Democrat Joe Biden wins President Trump.
In Washington, buildings and businesses in the vicinity of the White House have paneled their storefronts and windows, while a fence that cannot be climbed is planned around the presidential residence, according to CNN.
This security measure is in addition to others that were already in force for months around the White House in the face of protests and riots that the capital has registered this year.
NO SPECIFIC THREATS
However, the director of the Capital’s Internal Security Agency, Chris Rodriguez, told the press on Monday that there is “no specific or credible threat” in relation to the elections. Yes, requests for protests have been received from some groups and for this reason the Washington Police Department will be “fully mobilized,” said Rodriguez, who clarified that no federal resources have been requested for now.
In New York, the Police Department last week sent a letter to businesses in downtown Manhattan encouraging them to take additional security measures in the face of the possibility of large demonstrations in connection with elections similar to those adopted in the face of major events, according to the ‘Wall Street Journal’.
Also in this case, its mayor, Bill de Blasio, assured this Monday that there is no “specific threat” of potential violence or altercations due to the elections, but he assured: “We are prepared for anything.” In this sense, according to the NBC network, he made it clear that any attempt of violence will stop.
Here, as in the capital, the large establishments in the city center, where the main luxury brands worldwide have stores, have shielded their windows, a measure that has also been emulated in other large cities in the country such as Los Angeles. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia or San Francisco. Likewise, major chains such as Walmart or Target are also adopting precautionary measures, depending on the location of their establishments.