A pro-Palestine protest takes place at UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Thursday, October 12.
Protests erupt across US college campuses after Hamas attacks
02:34 - Source: CNN
Los Angeles CNN  — 

A Hilton hotel in Houston has canceled a conference scheduled for next week hosted by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, amid mounting violence between Israel and Hamas. The hotel cited “escalating security concerns” as the reason for the cancellation.

The event was set to take place from October 27 through October 29 and counted Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and American political activist Linda Sarsour as speakers.

“Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria serves as a place of public accommodation and does not endorse the positions of third-party groups or organizations. The safety and security of our Team Members and guests is our top priority,” a Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

“Given escalating security concerns in the current environment, the hotel has determined that it cannot serve as the venue for this event because of the potential risks to our Team Members and guests. Our priority is and will remain the safety and security of everyone we welcome at our hotel,” the statement continued.

The USCPR said Hilton gave the group “very little notice or advanced warning” before canceling the event.

“The breach by Hilton is clearly an act of ethnic, racial and religious discrimination. Further, canceling the conference because of our organization’s political positions goes against our First Amendment rights,” said USCPR executive director Ahmad Abuznaid. “Not only has Hilton breached their agreement with us, they have also sent a strong message that they stand on the side of hate and bigotry. Moving forward we will explore all options to remedy this.”

The USCPR describes itself as “a political home for all who believe that freedom for the Palestinian people is an integral part of achieving our collective liberation,” according to its website. The group said it provides resources and support to the US-Palestine solidarity movement.

Tlaib was scheduled to give the keynote address at next week’s conference, “reflecting on how we can demand justice in the halls of power.”

The event’s cancellation comes as the ongoing deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas has stoked tensions in the United States and around the world.