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Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Airbnb deactivating accounts associated with upcoming white supremacist rally in Charlottesville

Airbnb deactivating accounts associated with upcoming white supremacist rally in Charlottesville

In addition to canceling the bookings SCNazi made to reserve nine separate homes for its members, group leaders reported their accounts were permanently deleted for failing to live up to the Airbnb community guidelines, according to Vice.

The rally is being held to protest the removal of Lee's statue, which was approved in April by the city council but is being fought in court.

The officials have asked that it instead be held in McIntire Park, which is north of downtown and significantly larger. "When First Amendment rights are at stake, the city should be transparent about the evidence and information underlying its action so that citizens can be sure that fears of overcrowding are not simply a pretext for censorship and meet the requirement for proof that a compelling government interest underlies its decision".

With its headliner billed as Richard "Punch Me In The Face Please" Spencer, attendees of the "Unite the Right", a rally organized by self-described "white activist" Jason Kessler happening August 12 are now out of AirBnb rooms after having their accounts deactivated.

Kessler, however, said that the group's permit for Lee Park was unfairly canceled by the city, and that the rally would still go on at that location.

Kessler, in an interview with the Washington Post, called Airbnb's decision "grounds for a lawsuit" and characterized it as "racial targeting of white people for their ethnic advocacy". The company declined to confirm that number.

Kessler indicated in a permit that more than 400 people could attend, which led city leaders to compromise with him that the event be moved from Emancipation Park, which was previously known as Lee Park, to the larger McIntire Park.

And the ACLU represented Ku Klux Klan member Barry Black, who was arrested after burning a cross on a private citizen's Carroll County farm in 1999.

While Charlottesville, Virginia is bracing itself for the arrival of white nationalist attending Saturday's "Unite the Right" hate rally, the attendees themselves are struggling to maintain their accommodations in the city, in part thanks to Airbnb.

He notes agreement between the city and two letter writers that the city can not restrict a rally because of either content, or the "presence of counter-demonstrators".

Charlottesville has become a nexus of protest and counterprotest between white nationalists and the anti-fascist and anti-racist groups that often demonstrate alongside them.

The Ku Klux Klan protests on July 8 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The city cited the turnout at that event when releasing its crowd estimate for Saturday.

They also say the city's decision amounts to a "hecklers' veto", saying the revocation violates the principle that the rights of speech and assembly can not be restricted because one group may be met with opposition. "It's a little over the top".

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