Missed this the first time around, but someone dug up a fascinating message that Alex Hershaft posted to VegSource.Com describing the aftermath of last year’s Animal Rights 2001 conference. It seems that The Hilton used for this conference was less than pleased with some of the shenanigans that occurred at the July meeting.
Prior to the conference, The Hilton had spent millions of dollars renovating its site and, as a result, instituted a no pets policy. Apparently many visitors to AR2001 simply ignored that request,
In spite of it [the no pets policy], a number of people brought their dogs, and the hotel didn’t appreciate having to clean up after those animals who urinated on the new carpet. We will probably have to enforce a “no animal companion” policy of our own, unless someone can come up with a better solution.
Hmmm…what about the rights of the poor companion animals? (In fact several people replied to Hershaft that this was just a base prejudice against animals on the part of The Hilton).
The Hilton apparently did not appreciate the much-publicized protests at Nieman Marcus and Wendy’s (with the Wendy’s protest ending in several arrests).
The hotel is a member of the local merchants association, and the demonstrations at the nearby Wendy’s and Neiman Marcus gave them grief. We will have demonstrations at future conferences, but they will be part of the program, non-invasive, and well away from the hotel. However, here again, we will have to ask all participants to refrain from staging rump activities of their own
The Hilton was apparently not very happy when Neiman Marcus complained that protesters arrived in a Hilton van.
Of course when the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee set up protests areas for activists far from events, the activists acted as if the Constitution of the United States had been repealed. But scheduling demos so as to not offend The Hilton is apparently another story.
The message concludes that it is important to maintain the goodwill of The Hilton because, “We need a high-class venue, because of our size and because we are trying to project a middle class image.”
Yeah, wouldn’t want people to think they’re a bunch of nuts who protest Wendy’s and can’t keep their dogs from urinating on the carpet.
Hotel Grievances. Alex Hershaft, July 23, 2001.