At Swanky Federal Reserve Retreat, “Computer Glitch” Cancels Minority Protesters’ Hotel Reservations
The 1% no longer even pretend: they have taken control and locked out those who disagree. David Dayen reports in The Intercept:
The Kansas City Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, attracts central bankers, economists and the global elite. The past two years, some new faces came to Jackson Hole: low-wage workers who object to the Fed raising interest rates when too many at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder still struggle.
This year, somebody appears to be ensuring that ordinary people won’t disrupt the party.
The Fed Up campaign, a coalition that brought the workers to Jackson Hole in 2014 and 2015, has filed a formal complaint with the departments of Justice and the Interior, along with the National Park Service, because their hotel reservations for this year’s conference were mysteriously canceled.
Despite paying in advance for spots at the 385-room Jackson Lake Lodge, the Grand Teton Lodge Company told the campaign July 26 that their reservations would not be honored, citing a “computer glitch.” Grand Teton operates the lodge, a publicly owned facility, under a contract with the National Park Service.
Thirty-nine members of the coalition planned to attend this year, but the lodge said computer glitch resulted in overbooking its rooms by 18. Instead of spacing that out among all Jackson Lake lodge guests, the company cancelled all 13 of the Fed Up campaign’s rooms. So nearly three-quarters of the cancelled reservations belonged to the Fed Up group, even though they were told when they booked that 100 rooms were still available at the lodge.
“There is no legitimate explanation for the company’s decision,” wrote Fed Up campaign chair Ady Barkan in the complaint, which alleges possible violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the First Amendment right to peaceable assembly. “This is egregious and disparate treatment.”
The coalition’s reservations were made in the names of staffers for three of its member organizations – the Center for Popular Democracy, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research – using work email addresses. . .