The Warwick Hotel joins an illustrious list of New York hotels that have come under fire for hosting dastardly dictators in town for the UN General Assembly.
It happens every year with Iranian President Ahmadinejad. This year, it’s the Warwick’s turn and the protesters from an organization called UANI have taken it a whole new level.
They booked in a room at the hotel (No. 1102) and have officially moved their headquarters to the Warwick Hotel for the week.
They have cyclists pulling billboards outside the hotel near 54th St. and 6th Ave, and protesters are handing out cards on the sidewalk there which read “As we remember 9/11 ten years later, Al Qaeda’s silent partner comes to the Warwick Hotel.”
They have a billboard up in Times Square, and a mobile truck billboard that’s about to hit the streets outside the Warwick and the UN. They’re calling for a boycott of all Warwick International Hotels worldwide, including their U.S. hotels in Denver, Seattle, Dallas and San Francisco.
Of course, UANI themselves have a room booked inside the hotel, but that’s just so they can welcome Ahmadinejad with a protest and petition up close.
The hotel’s manager Sam Kapadia put out a statement which says that “Along with many of Manhattan’s hotels, restaurants and other service organizations, we are ready to cater to the needs of UN delegates and other representatives… The hotel has been privileged to serve a diverse international clientele and host international events during its eight decades of operations. It looks forward to continuing that tradition.”
The Warwick is only the latest to get caught in this particular annual drama. Last year, it was the Hilton Manhattan East Hotel that faced the music. The Omni Berkshire and Millennium UN Plaza refused to host Ahmadinejad after getting letters from UANI.
Jumeirah Essex House cancelled a scheduled dinner for him in 2009, while Gotham Hall and The New York Helmsley both cancelled scheduled speeches by Ahmadinejad. That year, he stayed at InterContinental The Barclay, which hasn’t agreed to host him since.
It’s a good bet that the Warwick Hotel too won’t let Ahmadinejad anywhere near their premises in 2012 or anytime soon after that. But there surely will be another brave hotel that will step up to the plate.
Photo – UANI