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Some downtown DC businesses board up ahead of Election Day

Numerous demonstrations are expected throughout the week.

WASHINGTON — Some DC businesses are boarding up ahead of expected demonstrations throughout the week of the 2020 Election.

Despite the wet weather Sunday morning, workers near Black Lives Matter Plaza were busy erecting more plywood barriers over some buildings' windows.

If you didn't know any better, you could be forgiven if you thought they were prepping for a big storm about to blow into the nation's capital.

In a way, you might be right. Or you might not be.

As with the weather, the events of Election Week 2020 are unpredictable.

"This November we're coming together to take direct action to defend democracy," said Hope Neyer, a ShutDownDC organizer.

The organization expects thousands to attend an election night watch party at Black Lives Matter Plaza.

We will have go-go music, we're going to have dancers," she said. "We've got a jumbotron that we're planning to watch the election results come in on."

The group plans to hit the streets in the days that follow as well.

"From November 4 to 7th, we are staying ready," she said. "We are staying fluid, we are ready to do whatever it takes."

The National Park Service says many groups have applied for permits to demonstrate on or around Election Day.

With thousands expected in the streets, including law enforcement, will remain peaceful?

One tea shop owner hopes so. 

Her store was vandalized after the death of George Floyd. Still, this week, she said she probably won't board up her business. She said she wants "more hope, less fear."

Wary of the risk of property damage, other downtown businesses are taking a no chances. They're boarding up just in case.

Knowing whether that will be necessary before election week is upon us is no easy forecast

It's hard to say exactly how many businesses downtown are now boarded up, but as of Sunday morning, roughly half near Black Lives Matter Plaza appeared to be.

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