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Downtown Madison businesses close ahead of possible armed protests

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As states across the country prepare for potential unrest Sunday, businesses around Madison's Capitol building are closing up just to be safe.

Around the Capitol Square Saturday, it looked like business as usual, but at the Old Fashioned, owner Tami Lax said they were getting ready to close up for the next several days.

"We're doing that so we're not promoting people coming down to pick up their double brat, they're going to have to wait until next weekend," Lax said.

While they're normally closed Sundays, they closed early Saturday and planned on being closed until the 21st.

Most businesses told 27 News they were going to close; some earlier than others, some waiting to see if anything actually happens but they're all saying they are listening to recommendations from local law enforcement.

"We are preparing in case there is something that's more riot-like that was prominent in Washington last week," Lax said. "We don't want to be around and we don't want to put anyone in harm's way for that."

Madison police have said there is no specific threat to Madison, aside from the nationwide warning from the FBI about armed protests in support of outgoing President Trump.

Officials have posted warnings against parking on the Capitol Square.

Lax says she's hopeful everything remains peaceful, but it just comes with the territory of living and working in the heart of a city.

"We deal with both the good and bad of that," she said. "Some of the protests that happen benefit our business, others hurt our business, so you just take it with a grain of salt and make adjustments according to what the theme of those events are."

Businesses say they're planning for the possibility that armed protestors could start gathering around noon.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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