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DC Businesses: It’s Perfectly Legal to Refuse to Host an Alt-Right Pool Party

Laura Loomer. Photograph by Evy Mages

Plans for a $200-a-ticket “Demand Free Speech Rally” after-party hit a snag when the venue said it never agreed to host such an event, Rachel Kurzius reports for DCist.  “It feels we are being discriminated for wanting to come together, and celebrate the Fourth of July week in our countries capital on behalf of our American free speech and some of the events speakers political views,” event organizer Adrienna DiCioccio told Kurzius.

DiCioccio later tweeted screenshots of her emailed correspondence with Kurzius, which said nothing about finding another venue. Hate group the Proud Boys promised to flood the original venue with negative reviews, Kurzius reports, though a check of the venue’s Yelp and Google pages suggests the campaign is off to a slow start.

DC venues don’t need to worry about saying no to the group if it tries to book another location for its after-party. As Jessica Sidman reported in 2017, the District’s Human Rights Act prevents discrimination against political affiliation but not “fringe ideological groups” such as white nationalists or other members of the alt-right. The Demand Free Speech Rally advertises the participation of alt-right figures Laura Loomer, Mike Cernovich, and Milo Yiannopoulos.

Many DC restaurants promised to kick out white nationalists before last year’s “Unite the Right 2” rally, which ended up drawing a couple dozen Nazis who were comically outnumbered by counterprotesters. They got of town as quickly as possible, and there were no reports of thwarted attempts to party in town afterward.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.