NYC stores boarding up in anticipation of election day turmoils, riots

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NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- More and more shops in New York City, especially the luxury stores in mid-Manhattan, have been boarding up over the weekend, as the Nov. 3 election day nears with strong anticipation of ensuing turmoils or even riots over the outcome of the vote.

Workers at chain stores such as Staples, Ann Taylor, and Bed Bath & Beyond in Chelsea were in the midst of hammering plywood across plate glass windows to ward off potential looters, as some nearby businesses, such as Argo Tea and Rosa Mexicana restaurant on Broadway, were already closed, New York Post reported.

Top brands including Macy's, Chanel, Dior and Fendi did the same things for their stores on Herald Square in Midtown Manhattan, according to the report of World Journal.

"It is very sad to see New York City in this kind of condition, with all these beautiful stores boarded up or closed down. It's very upsetting!" SoHo shopper Tina Sayah was quoted by abc7NY as saying.

In SoHo, a high-end neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, the streets echoed with whining power tools and the sheets of plywood on the windows, making the shops there look like a lemonade stand, said the report.

Back to May and June, as the Black Lives Matters demonstrations rolled through the city, plywood had been the most convenient defense adopted by owners to protect their stores against looters and rioters, particularly in luxury shopping areas like Fifth Avenue.

"We're going to be prepared for a lot of protests, prolonged protests, potentially different protest groups confronting each other. It's too early to tell what that's going to look like. But what we're going to emphasize is, you know, peaceful protest, as always, is going to be respected and facilitated," said Mayor Bill de Blasio while appearing live on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show on Friday.

"Anyone who's protesting, it's going to be respected, but if anything turns violent, we're going to move to stop that immediately," he added.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has announced that it will devote more resources to this year's election than those in previous years because of the nature of the current presidential race.

Officers will be dispatched to monitor 1,201 polling stations around the city on Nov. 3, including 708 public schools and new polling sites at Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, according to the NYPD. Enditem

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