Inauguration 2021: Airbnb will cancel all reservations in Washington, DC for the week of inauguration
Airbnb has announced that it is canceling and blocking all reservations in Washington DC during the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration, fearing guests will travel to the nation’s capital to spark further unrest.
The company responded Wednesday to calls from city officials urging Airbnb, VRBO and other hosts to remove their ads until Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, in the wake of last week’s deadly riots.
Days earlier, Airbnb said it had revised its bookings in the area and pledged to ban guests associated with hate groups or violent activities.
Airbnb announced Wednesday that it is canceling and blocking all reservations in Washington DC for the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration
The Secret Service, the FBI and the National Guard are among the 50 agencies and private companies that have formed a Multi-Agency Command Center (MACC) to bolster Washington, DC ahead of next week’s inauguration of the President-elect Joe Biden.
“ Today, in response to several local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, DC, we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, DC metro area during its opening week, ” the company said in a statement. statement.
“In addition, we will prevent new reservations from being made in the Washington, DC area during that time by blocking such reservations.”
Guests whose reservation has been canceled will be fully refunded, the company added. Hosts are also reimbursed for the money they would have earned, at the expense of the company.
The move comes after Airbnb received ‘input’ from its local host community, as well as DC officials, metropolitan and members of Congress following the Capitol uprising last Wednesday.
Janeese Lewis George, a Washington city councilor, told landlords on Monday not to “ rent out rooms on Jan. 17-20. ”
“There is no way to guarantee that your guests will not incite violence,” she said in a tweet. “Please protect your neighbors and the district from further attacks.”
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Governor Hogan and Governor Northam have also asked visitors not to travel to the DC Metro area for the inauguration in an effort to prevent more violence.
The FBI has also warned of possible armed protests at capitals in all 50 states in the days leading up to Jan. 20.
Officials in the DC and across the country are bracing for the worst ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, following last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol.
President Trump blamed for instigating deadly riot that killed four people on January 6 after urging supporters to protest Joe Biden’s election victory
Janeese Lewis George, a Washington city councilor, told landlords on Monday that they will “ not rent out rooms January 17-20 ”
An FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News on Monday raised the alarm over a group calling for the “ storming ” of administrative buildings and courthouses of state, local and federal governments should President Donald Trump be removed from office.
Airbnb said it is “ aware of reports that emerged yesterday afternoon about armed militias and known hate groups trying to travel and disrupt the inauguration.
“We will continue to ensure that members of hate groups are not part of the Airbnb community.”
It comes after Airbnb unveiled its ‘seven steps’ on MondayCapitol security plan‘for the inauguration that would impose additional security checks on its policies and ban those involved in last week’s uprising.
The company warned all guests in the Washington area that it could take legal action against them if they are members of hate groups or if they plan violent activities.
It also urged hosts to call a hotline if they suspect guests are violating Airbnb’s policies.
Airbnb has implemented a policy of removing guests who have been confirmed to be members of hate groups since 2017, when it blocked guests heading to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The company said on Monday it would also ban anyone involved in criminal activity last week from its platform.
The Airbnb had initially unveiled its seven-step ‘Capitol Safety Plan’ for the inauguration that would have imposed additional security checks on its policies and excluded individuals involved in last week’s uprising.
The company said it is references to arrest reports to determine who should be removed. The company wouldn’t say on Monday how many people it had removed so far.
The San Francisco-based home-sharing company also said on Monday that it will not be making political donations to Republicans who voted against certifying the results of last week’s election. Airbnb joined with Marriott, AT&T and others to take that position.
Airbnb’s political action committee donated $ 866,519 to candidates and political parties in the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, which monitors campaign finance donations. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden was the largest recipient of Airbnb donations.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the Secret Service, FBI and National Guard are among the 50 agencies and private companies that have formed a Multi-Agency Command Center (MACC) to bolster Washington, DC, for next week.
A map of Washington, DC with safety precautions and road closures in effect ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration day
Members of the National Guard seen as armed protecting the US Capitol Building after the violent siege that took place there last week
The task force will meet for the first time on Wednesday at the Secret Service field office in Washington, where hundreds of people will work 12-hour shifts to protect the city amid three new violent threats against the Capitol, which was attacked by a mob. from MAGA. supporters last week.
Private companies that have joined the task force include Amtrak, whose fleet of trains regularly travels through the country’s capital.
“Everyone can be sure that they are throwing the sink at this event,” said a Secret Service official who was involved in the planning. The Washington Post.
Another former Secret Service agent told the publication that the establishment of the MACC ensures that proactive security measures are taken and that help will be available in the event of a volatile situation.
‘Unlike January 6 [when the Capitol came under siege]”Nobody needs to ask for the National Guard anymore,” they declared.
“Nobody has to send an emergency call for the FBI SWAT team. They are all there, pre-positioned and ready. Radiation protection. Bomb detectors. Amtrak sweeps. All security personnel – they are all in place now. ‘
There will also be up to 15,000 National Guard members in attendance to protect DC