Proud Boys’ Inauguration Sabotage Attempt Takes Major Blow

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Donald Trump invited people to come to Washington DC on January 6, 2021 via tweet. He has not released the details yet, but a local businessman took preventive action. Some of Trump’s guests are certain to include the ultra-conservative group, the Proud Boys. So who are they, and why are local business people shutting down in their wake?

One hotel is located within blocks of the White House, so this conservative group announced its plans to close during the upcoming pro-Trump rally. The historic 250-room Hotel Harrington opened in 1914 and has billed itself as “an affordable tourist hotel.” Many of the hotel’s employees have worked there for decades, according to The Washington Post.

Militant right-wing groups are very pro-Trump. While in DC, the group has clashed violently with antifascist groups and members of the Black Lives Matter organization.

The hotel released a statement about why it was closing from January 4 through 6. The statement read:

‘Washington, D.C. has been our home for 106 years and we join with all of our guests, visitors, staff and neighbors in our concern and desire for everyone’s health and safety.’

‘We greatly appreciate the trust our guests have placed in Hotel Harrington over the years and we wish to continue to earn that trust. While we cannot control what happens outside of the hotel, we are taking additional steps to protect the safety of our visitors, guests and employees.’

Leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, noted that should the business ask them to avoid the hotel and/or bar, they would honor that request. He said:

‘Of course not. I wouldn’t want to go somewhere, a private business where I’m unwelcome. There’s many other options.’

One employee who had been with the hotel for years feared the approximately 1,000 members of the Proud Boys were damaging the hotel’s and bar’s reputation. He said:

‘It’s sad that they feel so comfortable here because obviously nobody who works here supports this stuff.’

In the days after the last protest, District leaders worried about the Proud Boys’ hanging out there. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said:

‘These Proud Boys are avowed white nationalists and have been called to stand up against a fair and legal election.’

DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto (D) represents the district where the hotel/bar is located. He called the bar serving the Proud Boys complicit with “hate groups.” Pinto released a statement that read:

‘I am angered and troubled by the violence committed by white supremacists in our city and in Ward 2 over the weekend and last month. Harry’s disregard for public health guidance as these hate groups have gathered in their establishment without masks and without being socially distant before taking to the streets and further jeopardizing the health and safety of District residents is absolutely unacceptable.’

Tarrio told the newspaper that the Proud Boys would not stay at the hotel or go to the bar if the businesses requested the group avoid them:

‘Of course not. I wouldn’t want to go somewhere, a private business where I’m unwelcome. There’s many other options.’

The Proud Boys collected on the corner outside of the bar during the last rally. Tarrio did not know about the Proud Boys’ refusal to wear masks in the bar or hotel:

‘[F]or the most part, we’re not big on masks.’

The far-right organization had a plan on December 12:

‘As dark approached on the night of Dec. 12, members of the Proud Boys donned Kevlar helmets, bulletproof vests, protective forearm coverings and large rucksacks. Many carried long poles, long-handled black flashlights and collapsible batons. Some carried cases of beer. They departed the hotel in packs and began marching through the District’s downtown chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “F— antifa!”.’

ShutDown DC organizers indicated that they would continue to pressure “business owners and city officials to do more:”

‘As long as people are coming into our community with the expressed intent of terrorizing our friends and neighbors, we are going to work to keep each other safe.’

The hotel said it would offer refunds for all prepaid reservations.

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