The Unite The Right Rally 2 is coming to Washington, D.C., this weekend and restaurateurs in the city are getting ready. According to an article in the Washingtonian, D.C. restaurateurs have already announced that they are prepared to deny service to white supremacists.
“Our mentality is we’re going to protect each other. This is our city. Our house. Our people,” said Dan Simons, owner of The Founding Farmers restaurants. “There are times when a guest can be rude to an employee and you swap out the server. We’ve told our team: this isn’t what that is. You don’t have to be in a room with someone who’s advocating for your death and enslavement.”
Simons has a restaurant close to the location where the Unite The Right attendees plan to converge so that they can take public transportation to the rally’s location. He says they have put plans in place that would treat the influx of white supremacist groups like a dangerous weather situation. For example, an employee who fears using public transport for their work commute is allowed to get alternate transport paid for by the restaurant. They are also allowing their workers to stay home on that day if they fear that coming to work will jeopardize their safety.
According to the Washingtonian, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) has distributed legal information about their rights to refuse service.
Other restaurants have chosen to shut their doors. One restaurant owner, Alan Popovsky, says that they will close for dinner service. Their decision to do so came after workers said that they were afraid to come to work. His establishments are inspired by U.S. presidents of the past, so he has posted fliers on his restaurant windows that remind people that they stand for equality.
“Hatred has no welcome solace here,” one of the lines of the flier reads.
The Unite The Right 2 rally in Washington, D.C., is the sequel to the alt-right rally that happened last year in Charlottesville. As Time reported, the rally triggered clashes between right-wingers and counter-protesters. One counter-protester was killed and several others injured when a car plowed into their protest.
The night before this incident, swarms of white nationalists carried tiki torches through the University of Virginia campus.
President Donald Trump was slammed for refusing to condemn the actions of white nationalist groups in Charlottesville when he said that the violence was caused by both sides.
“What happened in Charlottesville is domestic terrorism,” tweeted Sen. Ron Wyden from Oregon “The President’s words only serve to offer cover for heinous acts.”