After the announcement that protests in opposition of the 2020 election results are scheduled in all 50 states leading up to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, some Austin businesses have boarded up their windows. Most, however, have decided not to bring out the plywood.
Although most businesses have elected to leave their windows uncovered so far, 7-Eleven, Total Men's Primary Care, and the post office downtown have all boarded up in the wake of Wednesday's insurgence and protests to come as Inauguration Day approaches. Additional boarded-up businesses like Cuba512 have remained covered in plywood since the summer.
When protesting began in the wake of George Floyd's murder, a few Austin businesses experienced various degrees of property damage, prompting many to cover their windows in a bid to protect themselves and their establishments. The plywood returned to downtown during election week in November, although there was no damage from protests.
Earl Joyner, a security guard downtown, says the businesses which currently have their windows covered are simply taking precaution. While some businesses suffered damage, he said the businesses he patrols remained untouched this past summer.
"You just never know what's gonna happen, though," Joyner said.
Businesses, such as Consuela, a boutique on Congress Avenue near the Capitol, haven't felt the need to board up quite yet, although safety is a top priority, says Matt Ballard, who is part of the leadership at Consuela.
Ballard said the Consuela leadership team would be playing it by ear before deciding to board up the shop.
"I think everyone's in the same camp of trying to see how things evolve," he said.
While the events of the past week and the announcement of nationwide demonstrations have cast a sense of tension, Ballard hasn't seen it change the way they, or their neighboring establishments, operate business.
As the day of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration approaches, the Austin Police Department issued a statement about protests in the coming weeks.
"We do have reports of planned assemblies, and we are working with our law enforcement partners at DPS to ensure people are able to peacefully assemble and voice opinions, and we are able to keep people safe during that process. We fully respect people's ability to exercise their First Amendment rights, and we will be prepared to respond as needed to ensure the community's safety."
With a taste of MLS play under their belts, Austin FC is entering the second half of a scoreless inaugural match.
The club has been given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
The two breaks aside, Austin FC has been holding their own against the match favorites. In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team has been quick and intense, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. ATXFC has also kept about equal possession with LAFC, although their shot attempts haven't been quite as nervewracking as the home team.
LAFC has given goalkeeper Brad Stuver some scares with 11 shot attempts, four of them on goal. By contrast, Austin FC has had five shots on goal.
LA has pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense isn't as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and defensive midfielder Alex Ring has shown the qualities that make him captain as he leads his teammates through their first ever match.
Will Austin FC win against the odds? It's tough to tell, but Austonia will keep you updated!
It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!
Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.
5 p.m: Kickoff!
It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!
4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home
Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.
4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium
Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!
~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds
With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.
~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA
(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)
Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.
Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.
11:45 a.m: We landed!
View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)
Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.
We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.
8:20 a.m: LA bound
Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.
A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.
As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.