A few Upper West Side businesses have been putting wooden boards over the windows in advance of the election, prepping for possible post-election unrest. The stores covering their windows included chains like J. Jill, West Elm and Pottery Barn.
During protests this summer, windows were broken at a few local stores including Best Buy, though a police commander said at the time that he hadn’t seen evidence of looting in the precinct.
Claire’s on Broadway between 81st and 82nd, part of a chain of fashion and accessories stores, also boarded up its windows, leading some people to believe that the store had closed for good. An employee said the windows were boarded out of caution ahead of the election and they’re not closing. She also said it was good to hear from so many people who were nervous they might be closing, because it shows those people care about them.
Mayor de Blasio addressed the issue of post-election protests a few days ago, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
On his weekly WNYC broadcast, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is going to be prepared for “prolonged protests” and has been discussing safety protocols.
“None of us has a crystal ball to know what the result will be, but we’ve sure been given enough reason to be concerned by the president of the United States suggesting he will not abide by the election results and that’s absolutely sickening and unprecedented,” the mayor said.
“It’s too early to tell what [the week] is going to look like,” added de Blasio. He said that if anything turns violent, the city will move to stop it immediately. He said peaceful protests will be respected and facilitated, regardless of ideology.
There have been a few pre-election rallies. Some anti-Trump protesters said that police seemed much more lenient with pro-Trump protesters who staged truck rallies that blocked highways over the weekend. Some of the pro-Trump ralliers were covering their license plate numbers, and one counter-protester said she was hit by a vehicle, Gothamist reported.
As Callaghan attempted to take a photo of a truck with an obscured plate, the driver rammed into her, she said. Police immediately rushed her and threw her to the ground, she told Gothamist, but “said and did nothing about the driver who’d just drove into me.”
“It seemed they were selectively enforcing the law,” she added. “I’m fine, it was a little bit shocking. They clearly wanted to intimidate and scare us.”
Among the caravan’s vehicles was a white SUV, adorned by Trump flags, with a fake body strapped to the hood made to look like an antifascist protester.
One NYCHA leader told Gothamist she was concerned about white supremacists.
“My fear definitely is white supremacy coming into these developments,” said Carmen Quinones, a tenant leader at the Frederick Douglass buildings on the Upper West Side. She noted that most NYCHA residents did not have the means to hire private security guards, adding that some people were nervous.
Thanks to Jackie and Ken for the tips.