Securing Property When Expecting an Anti-Mask ProtestApril 19, 2021
Anti-Mask Protestors Expand Their Demonstrations to Small Businesses
Stay-at-home orders and social distancing efforts have placed tremendous pressure on the well-being of both large cities and small towns across North America. Mask by-laws have fueled the frustrations of many, causing people to lash out at local governments and take to the streets in order to express their anger. As pandemic fatigue sets in, many regular, every-day people have grown angry with restrictions, searching out ways to speak out against those who are implementing such regulations.
The result has been anti-mask protests targeted against government officials, health authorities, and local leaders in small towns. Quiet neighborhoods that have never experienced political demonstrations are now sites for anti-mask protests that have the potential to turn violent and damage property. In a stunning development, these anti-maskers have also targeted large and small businesses as an avenue for a political demonstration, potentially putting staff and customers at risk.
Pandemic Fatigue Turns Everyday People into Political Activists
Local leaders have implemented mask and social distancing by-laws in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 and manage continued outbreaks. Political leaders, however, have been met with negative reactions from a very vocal sub-section of society. This has been in the form of digital bombardment and in-person protests that can be planned in an instant. Social media has sparked much of this negative energy, as like-minded individuals have been able to organize and plan protests through various groups and message boards, targeting workplaces that might be unprepared for a political demonstration.
While police have played a role in quelling these demonstrations, there are complicated issues with an individual’s right to protest that intersect with the many by-laws in place to restrict gatherings. These protests have targeted government buildings, parks, hospitals, and healthcare facilities. In 2021, even small businesses are also unsafe from these demonstrations.
Grocery Stores and Pharmacies the Next Target of Anti-Mask Protestors
In some instances, grocery and convenience stores have been targeted by spirited protestors who wish to bring attention to their cause, frightening customers and occasionally destroying property. There have been many incidents where masked customers have clashed with protestors, resulting in injury or arrest that is often captured on video by onlookers. In other incidents, anti-maskers have walked into stores and challenged cashiers about their mask policies, disrupting the work of individuals who have had no part in the required mandates.
With today’s strict mask guidelines and social distancing mandates, protestors are technically criminals, trespassing onto private property and disrupting normal day-to-day business. In 2021, government agencies and companies of all kinds are best to secure their personnel and property during these challenging times, even though case numbers have slowly declined across the world.
Solutions to Anti-Mask Protests
Many small businesses, in both large cities and small towns, are encouraged to implement a physical security presence in an effort to maintain order and protect both customers and staff.
Larger businesses, including corporate offices, healthcare facilities, and hospitals, should have access control systems that can monitor and restrict those entering and exiting buildings.
Predict and Respond to Anti-Mask Protests with Social Listening Tools From AFIMAC
Careful preparation and tools from third parties can help predict and prevent anti-mask protests. AFIMAC can ensure that 2021 continues on the path of recovery and promote a safe and healthy workforce. Plan for any type of uncertainty in the new year and take measures to protect both staff and property.
Those looking to protect their business should lean on the experience of security agencies specially trained in these types of demonstrations. Physical security guards, access control systems, and protective drivers provided by AFIMAC are just some of the many tools businesses can use to protect their staff and public property during an anti-mask protest.
AFIMAC maintains social listening and investigative tools that can predict the rise of a political protest in your local area and help you respond accordingly. We offer full-service solutions to political unrest and spirited protests; AFIMAC can ensure that both your people and property remain protected during these kinds of demonstrations.
Contact us directly to learn more.