Following the violent pro-Trump riots at the Capitol last week, Washington, D.C. has been on high alert for more unrest leading up to—and during—the January 20 inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden, an event that was already set to be in an unprecedentedly revised format due to the ongoing pandemic. Local, state, and federal officials, including mayor Muriel Bowser and governors Ralph Northam and Larry Hogan (of Virginia and Maryland, respectively) have implored people not to travel to the nation’s capital for the event.
Now Airbnb is doing its part to further deter travel: the home rental giant, as well as its subsidiary HotelTonight, will cancel all Washington, D.C. reservations—and block new ones—during inauguration week. “We are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the inauguration,” the company said in a statement. Guests will be refunded, of course, and hosts will be reimbursed in full, at the company’s expense.
Earlier this week, a campaign called #DontRentDC had already been trending on Twitter. On Monday, D.C. council member Janeese Lewis George tweeted, “There’s no way to guarantee that your guests are not coming to incite violence. The potential threats publicized by news outlets are very alarming. Please protect your neighbors and the District from more attacks. #DontRentDC”
DC! Avoid renting out rooms on January 17-20. There's no way to guarantee that your guests are not coming to incite violence. The potential threats publicized by news outlets are very alarming. Please protect your neighbors and the District from more attacks. #DontRentDC https://t.co/cGCDGQhA8d
— Janeese Lewis George (@Janeese4DC) January 11, 2021
On Monday, Airbnb announced its seven-step Capitol Safety Plan, and this latest move is just one of the actions the company has vowed to take in order to combat hate groups and remove their members from the platform.
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