DC hotel frequented by Proud Boys to close Jan. 4-6
A D.C. hotel that is located blocks from the White House and, in recent months, has been frequented by the far-right group the Proud Boys announced Monday that it will be closed during the planned pro-President Trump demonstrations next week.
The Hotel Harrington released a statement on Monday saying the hotel will shut down between Monday, Jan. 4, and Wednesday, Jan. 6, as Trump’s supporters plan to protest that Wednesday when Congress is scheduled to certify the election results.
The hotel said it will not host guests except for long-term residents and it will provide refunds to all prepaid reservations made for during that time period.
“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,” the statement read.
“We greatly appreciate the trust our guests have placed in Hotel Harrington over the years and we wish to continue to earn that trust,” the statement continued. “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.”
The Hotel Harrington announced it would close the three days next week after The Washington Post published an article detailing how the Proud Boys have been gathering at the hotel in recent months. Several hundred Proud Boys members stayed at the hotel for the Dec. 12 demonstrations contesting the election results.
The hotel bar, known as Harry’s, has also seen an influx of Proud Boys members, and its website said it will not operate on Jan. 5 and 6. Harry’s had shut down early on Dec. 11 and 12 due to concerns about managing COVID-19 social distancing requirements after being cited for violations when Trump supporters were visiting the bar.
The closure will come after the president has predicted a “wild” protest in D.C. on Jan. 6 — the day Congress is expected to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.
The expected demonstration will follow after Trump supporters took to the streets on the night of Dec. 12, with many wearing helmets and bulletproof vests and shouting “F— antifa!” among other chants.
The D.C. police worked to separate the pro-Trump demonstrators from protesters near Black Lives Matter Plaza. When several Proud Boys members could not break through the police line, some took and burnt a Black Lives Matter banner from a church.
Clashes between the groups of protesters resulted in at least four people being stabbed near Harry’s, although police have not revealed the political motivations of those involved, according to the Post.
Enrique Tarrio, who heads the Proud Boys, told the Post that the group’s members had previously stayed at the hotel and went to the bar because of its proximity to the White House. But he said the group has grown too large for the bar, as he said about 1,000 people attended the last demonstration.
Tarrio told the newspaper that the Proud Boys would not stay at the hotel or go to the bar if businesses requested the group avoid them.
“Of course not. I wouldn’t want to go somewhere, a private business where I’m unwelcome,” he said. “There’s many other options.”
Two employees at the hotel and bar told the Post that the Proud Boys’ presence at their workplace has intimidated some of the workers, many of whom are Black and Hispanic.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city government urged the bar to close early on Dec. 11-12 due to the protests. Several social justice organizations have called on their members to call the bar to request it condemn the Proud Boys and close during pro-Trump demonstrations, according to the Post.