CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV / AP) - The organizer of a group known for its white supremacist and anti-immigrant views spoke to reporters in Charlotte on Monday about a hotel which decided at the last minute to cancel the group's reservations for an upcoming conference.
Last week, The Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel announced it had canceled the group's reservations due to issues pertaining to guest safety.
American Renaissance magazine editor Jared Taylor claims he informed the hotel management more than six months ago that there could be protesters at the Feb. 5 conference.
"I personally leveled with the hotel staff, I wanted to make absolutely sure that there was no misunderstanding about what the risks were, and they said 'yes, we understand'," said Taylor.
Taylor also claims Charlotte City Councilman Patrick Cannon violated the group's First Amendment rights by contacting hotels in the Charlotte area about the conference.
Taylor says he thinks he may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Cannon says he was just finding information in response to a question from a constituent.
"I did not send an email, nor write, nor call any hotel..[there's] nothing to apologize for given I didn't contact any hotels," said Cannon.
Cannon says he expressed concern to his constituents about safety at the event because of protestors who might attend.
Cannon sent an email to a constituent last week that reportedly read as follows:
"I have all hotels, motels, and gotels (sic) on notice and they seem to be cooperating well still. An attempt was made for accommodations at another hotel but based on what I ask to take place they were denied again."
Taylor said the Sheraton will likely loose close to $50,000 in revenue because of the cancellation.
He said he is not sure where the group will hold its conference now.
On Monday, the hotel released the following statement:
The Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel recognizes the rights of individuals and organizations to assemble. However, we also have an obligation to provide for the safety and security of our guests, our associates and of the community at large. Upon learning of the extremely controversial views of the New Century Foundation, the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel elected to cancel this organization's booking for an event in February. No outside entities played a role in this decision. This event was originally confirmed only because those involved in the booking were unaware of the unique dynamics associated with this group. Despite recent reports, the hotel had no information about the group's background when this event was booked.
On Saturday, February 5, groups opposing American Renaissance will hold a rally and forum in Charlotte NC.
The rally will be in Marshall Park, E. 3rd Street between S. Davidson and S. McDowell from 10am-11:30am.
The forum will be at West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Boulevard, Charlotte 28208, 1:00-2:30pm.