HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As law enforcement prepares for protests this weekend, some local businesses in Harrisburg are closing their doors as a precaution. Many are concerned things could turn violent.
After last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, police and local businesses aren’t taking any chances for this Sunday’s planned protest. They’d rather be safe than sorry.
Barriers have been erected and police are gearing up to protect the state Capitol and those who live here.
“We continue to have no specific intelligence as to activities in Harrisburg other than the blanket warning from the FBI,” Mayor Eric Papenfuse said.
Still, hundreds of capitol, state and Harrisburg police officers will be on patrol, as well as the National Guard and FBI.
Papenfuse hopes whatever happens remains peaceful.
“I think it is possible to be optimistic that nothing will actually transpire, while also being prepared for the very worst at the same time,” Papenfuse said.
Just across the street from the Capitol, Roxy’s Cafe will be closed Sunday through Thursday, giving extra time in case anything happens on Inauguration Day as well.
“The reason why we’re closing is for people’s safety, to make sure that our staff is safe and customers as well,” server Marilu Saldana said.
And the Dauphin County Library System is closing both the McCormick Riverfront and Madeline L. Olewine Memorial libaries Saturday.
“Given the precautions that are being taken at the Capitol and the businesses around us and what the city’s going to do with closing streets we just felt that it was in the best interest of the staff and the public who use these two locations,” Executive Director Karen Cullings said.
The libraries are closed on Sunday as usual and also Monday for MLK Day.
They’ll reevaluate over the weekend whether they’ll be closed next week too.
The Capitol complex will be closed starting Sunday at 10 a.m. including Commonwealth Avenue.
The city will be closing Third Street in front of the Capitol and the 200 block of State Street.
Additional road closures could happen as well.