Thousands of People Are Protesting Hyatt For Hosting Controversial Group

Sep 4, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Tens of thousands of people are protesting Hyatt hotels after the chain said it would allow a controversial political group to hold a convention at one of its properties beginning Tuesday.

Think Progress reports that the Hyatt Regency Crystal City confirmed last week it will be the venue for the ACT for America conference. The group is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for anti-Muslim rhetoric. According to SPLC, with “750,000 members and more than 1,000 chapters, the group has undoubtedly grown to become the largest anti-Muslim group in America.”

A group of several civil rights organizations submitted a petition with 100,000 signatures that demanded Hyatt back out of hosting the conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. A group of 34 religious groups also signed a letter to the management of the Hyatt property, located in suburban Washington, DC, imploring them to cancel the conference.

Mila Delfin, the assistant to the general manager at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City told Think Progress that the hotel “made a decision not to discriminate against any group because they have freedom of speech, too. We made a decision not to cancel this meeting.”

ACT for America resists the label “hate group.” Its founder, Brigitte Gabriel said in a statement “The accusation that our organization could be classified as a ‘white supremacist and anti-Muslim Hate Group’ is as baseless as it is absurd. To claim that an organization founded by Brigitte Gabriel – a brown-skinned, ethnically Lebanese Arab, with lifelong and heartfelt support for Israel, could qualify as a ‘white supremacist’ organization, exposes those who spew such falsehoods for their bias and deception.”

A Hyatt spokesperson told TPG “that the varied views of our hotel guests and organizations accommodated by Hyatt hotels are not always shared by our company.”

“We believe Hyatt hotels have a responsibility to continue providing a forum for people to respectfully and peacefully exercise their first amendment right to free speech, so long as in doing so they do not endanger any of our guests or colleagues,” the hotel chain spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Hyatt has made the decision not to discriminate against groups who meet peacefully simply because we disagree with their messaging or because their values are different than ours.”

Other hotel chains, like Marriott, have similar policies regarding political groups’ conferences and have also come under fire for them, too.

The controversy comes after a summer in which other travel brands took political stands — mainly airlines that refused to fly immigrant children who had been separated from their parents by the US government at the US-Mexico border.

Featured image by RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.