AUSTIN, Texas - More than a dozen businesses in downtown Austin have boarded up following an FBI warning about armed demonstrations at state capitols ahead of and on Inauguration Day.
Buford Snyder of Snyder Commercial Glass says his company has boarded up approximately 15 businesses downtown. He says the owners of approximately 20 other businesses are waiting to see what happens over the next few days.
For Jagat Patel, owner of the 7-Eleven on 8th and Congress, it’s the second time in twelve months his business has been boarded up to prevent looting and rioting. "We have family to go home to and we have bills to pay so don’t do that. We are human beings," he stressed.
Patel says the year has been "rough." Working through a pandemic is unnerving, and for the past six months, it has not been profitable.
Located downtown, most of his customers are tourists and office workers. "We are already suffering and by vandalizing us you are putting us in a deeper hole. We are already in a hole," he said.
They were small, and there was no violence.
Patel, who believes the right to protest is important, hopes things do not escalate. "I want people to understand that, you know, we are going through a pandemic. We have gone through elections. We don’t have to agree on everything politically speaking, but we do have to agree on one thing, is we are all humans and we have to treat each other that way."