By Miriam Raftery
November 3, 2020 (San Diego) – With some downtown businesses boarding up over concerns about potential civil unrest once national election results are announced, a coalition of civil rights and business leaders today held a press conference calling on elected leaders to sign a civility pledge to urge a civil and safe election regardless of the results.
“We have 30 elected leaders so far regionally,” Rev. Shane Harris, president and founder of the People’s Alliance for Justice, told East County Magazine. He adds that it’s alright for people to “protest, but not to be violent. Use your voice. Don’t hurt a small business that’s recovering from the economy.”
While Harris is concerned about right-wing groups such as Proud Boys, white supremacists and militias responding to a dog whistle from President Donald Trump if he is losing, some on the right voice concerns over potential violence by leftist groups such as Black Lives matter or Antifa.
Harris and leaders of local Chambers of Commerce and civil leaders held a press conference in front of a boarded up CVS store on Market Street. Organizations participating included San Diego’s Hispanic,, Asian and Black Chambers of Commerce, Councilman Mark Kersey, and spokespersons for the National Black Contractors Association, as well as small business owners.
Times of San Diego reported yesterday that plywood had gone up to protect windows at CVS as well as a Lucky Brand clothing store, Union Bank, and First National Bank downtown, as well as several local businesses.
Some stores in Los Angeles, New York and other major cities are also taking steps to board up as a precautionary step, though no specific credible threats of violence had been received.