About 200 members of the volunteer group will be on city streets, hoping to prevent vandalism and looting, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We’re not going to tolerate them coming for the property, the product or the people. If it means we’ve got to put our bodies between them and the looters and the rioters, so be it. But someone’s got to do it, and we don’t want to see this happen all over again, as happened in the summer,” Curtis Sliwa, president and founder of the Guardian Angels, was quoted by CBSNewYork as saying.
The New York Police Department has advised midtown businesses to take extra security measures. Some buildings have hired armed guards, and a number of high-end shops have boarded up with plywood.
Back to May and June, as the Black Lives Matters demonstrations rolled through the city, plywood had been the most convenient defence adopted by owners to protect their stores against looters and rioters, particularly in luxury shopping areas like Fifth Avenue.
The Guardian Angels, formed in 1979, is an unarmed civilian patrol group that started out keeping an eye on subway trains during an era when the city had a high crime rate.
Now, it serves as a sort of neighbourhood watch group, working to keep communities safe without involving police or politicians.
As part of that role, the group has accompanied protests, keeping demonstrators safe and dealing with any outside instigators or looters.