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Boarded up for fear of violent protests, businesses still offer messages of support to protesters

'We support the city’s riots and protests'

Updated: June 2, 2020 - 3:34pm

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Businesses across the country continue to boarded up their storefronts for fear of violent protest despite protesters using the plywood shielding as blank billboards to promote messages of support for protesters and rioters. 

Already wracked by months of government-mandated shutdowns due to coronavirus mitigation policies, many American business owners are now having to deal with nightly fears of destructive mobs destroying property as part of nationwide outrage following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man who died after a police arrest in what prosecutors are saying was an act of murder. 

Many owners have taken to covering their storefronts with plywood on a nightly basis to protect against destruction from rioters. Yet many of those entrepreneurs are also using the plywood to broadcast encouraging messages to the activists. 

In Minneapolis, employees at Jackalope Tattoo spray painted numerous slogans and messages on its plywood shutters ahead of another night of unrest, including "[People-of-color] owned," "Justice for George," "White Silence is Violence," and numerous others.

In a Facebook post, the business said it "boarded up the shop and used the opportunity to paint a message."

"We support the city’s riots and protests. Material things can be replaced, black lives cannot. Enough is enough," the owners wrote. 

In Richmond, Virginia, the LGBTQ bar Babe's of Carytown offered supportive "Black Lives Matter" slogans on its storefront. Businesses in Richmond have been vandalized numerous times over several successive nights. 

In Whittier, California, shuttered businesses could be seen with messages such as "Black Lives Matter / Minority Owned" and "We Support Black Lives Matters [sic]."

Elsewhere in Minneapolis, Twitter user Matt Meshulam reported that "most storefronts" in the southern part of the city "are proactively boarded up." Meanwhile, "[nearly] every business had a message of support" written on its plywood. 

In Chicago, meanwhile, one business tried a novel approach to plywood sloganeering: "Already looted. Store's empty," the owners wrote. 

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