Downtown Duluth Businesses Board Up Ahead of Protests

Business owners say they prepared for the worst, hoped it didn't happen.

DULUTH, Minn.- Downtown businesses spent the day leading up to the protests buckling down, in case things escalated as they have in other cities across the country.

The closed Fond-du-Luth Casino on Superior Street started boarding up their doors and windows a couple hours before the demonstration started.

Officials with the reservation said they’re trying to be prepared for anything. “We don’t know what’s going to take place,” said Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Communications Director Rita Aspinwall.

“But we can hope that if anything happens hopefully it is in a calm, peaceful way. But we are taking extra precautions if that’s not the case,” she said.

Meanwhile plywood is all you see along First Street as many smaller businesses started securing their buildings Friday.

Many business owners also protested. They are balancing, they said, having to protect their businesses, while also advocating for their community.

“It’s very difficult for me as a business owner because I am protecting myself but also standing up for something that I believe in, so I tread a very fine line there,” Jona Johnson, owner of Spurs on First, said. “Keep a good energy and let’s just get our point across int he best weay possible. And try to band together on this one.”

While the protests were peaceful, business owners said they are going to keep their precautions up a bit longer, just in case anything escalated through the night.

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