Uber and Lyft have joined Airbnb in saying they may refuse service to protesters involved in the Unite the Right rally this weekend.
The controversial event is planned for Washington DC’s Lafayette Park on Sunday, the one year anniversary of protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that devolved into deadly clashes.
Both ride-sharing companies released statements this week that, without directly denouncing Unite the Right participants, made clear that drivers could refuse service to anyone who makes them uncomfortable or violates guidelines against discrimination.
Uber said in a note to drivers that its community guidelines were meant to ensure ‘everyone in the vehicle has a shared standard for respect, accountability, and common courtesy’.
Antifa and white nationalists are seen clashing at last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Uber and Lyft are allowing drivers to refuse service this year in DC
The company said in a statement to CBS News that drivers have a right to refuse service to riders ‘who are disrespectful or who make them feel unsafe’.
Lyft told the outlet that if its drivers ‘ever feel uncomfortable or disrespected by a passenger, they can cancel that ride.
Earlier in the week, Airbnb warned that it might ban protesters who are involved in Unite the Right.
The company said protesters who are found to be violating AirBnb’s community values risk having their accommodation cancelled and accounts removed.
Airbnb said all its users have to agree to its policies, which state they have: ‘to treat everyone in the Airbnb community – regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age – with respect, and without judgment or bias’.
‘When we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the Airbnb platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action, which may include removing them from the platform,’ Airbnb said in a statement provided to ABC News.
Uber said in a note to drivers that its community guidelines were meant to ensure ‘everyone in the vehicle has a shared standard for respect, accountability, and common courtesy’
The rally on Sunday is being organized by the same people behind the infamous Charlottesville rally.
Airbnb cancelled reservations and accounts ahead of the Charlottesville rally last year as well.
‘We acted in advance of last year’s horrific event in Charlottesville and if we become aware of similar information we won’t hesitate to do so again,’ they said in a statement.
Washington authorities have ramped up the capital’s emergency level to allow for additional resources to prevent violence ahead of the protest, but some are bracing for confrontation.
Last year’s protests in Charlottesville began August 11 and saw hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers yelling white nationalist slogans.
They had gathered to protest efforts to remove statues of Confederate leaders, including one of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E Lee.
When the demonstrations continued on August 12, fighting broke out between Unite the Right demonstrators and anti-fascists from a black-clad group called Antifa.
The violence culminated when a car drove into a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 people.