ON THE GROUND

'People are scared': Chicago prepares for election unrest

Shops in Chicago have boarded up their windows and police have been put on alert amid fears of unrest following the US presidential election.
Shops in Chicago have boarded up their windows and police have been put on alert amid fears of unrest following the US presidential election. © Sam Ball / France 24

As the US prepares to vote in one of the most divisive elections seen in decades, tensions are rising across the country. In Chicago, already hit by riots and looting earlier this year, shops have been boarding up their windows and security put on alert amid fears the outcome of the vote could spark violence.

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"We had two lootings, riots. And the first time we got hit, so we have to protect ourselves," said nail-salon manager Thao Ha, referring to unrest over the summer sparked by the killing of George Floyd. "Probably going to happen again for the election."

Her business is just one of dozens with boards covering windows and glass doors to prevent damage in case of violence following Tuesday's vote.

The mayor of Chicago has appealed for calm no matter the outcome of the election.

But some Chicago residents fear the worst.

"I understand why stores and restaurants are boarding up," said Caroline, a voter who cast her ballot early this year.

"I hope it doesn't come to that but I also, given all the heightened emotions and violence we've seen this summer, I think it makes sense that people are scared."

Click on the video player above to watch the full report.

 

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