The protest was held as Brunei implemented laws that would see gay people stoned to death.
Hundreds of people protested outside of the Brunei-owned Dorchester hotel yesterday as the county implemented strict new laws which would see people stoned to death for having gay sex.
At some points, protesters breached barriers that had been placed by the hotel, and got onto the steps. Protesters chanted: “What do you want? LGBT rights! When do you want them? Now!,” and: “Homophobia has got to go.”
Protesters also let off smoke bombs, and placed rainbow-coloured stones on the steps of the hotel.
The protest was organised by The Peter Tatchell Foundation and Benali Hadamache, the co-chair of LGBTIQA+ Greens.
“We are urging countries worldwide to suspend diplomatic, economic and military relations with Brunei and to threaten boycotts, sanctions and disinvestments if these extremist Sharia punishments are not revoked,” Peter Tatchell said.
He then urged for Brunei to be removed from the Commonwealth, saying: “The UK royal family must stop hosting the Sultan and cut all ties with his despotic regime. Brunei should be suspended from the Commonwealth.
“These draconian laws violate the Commonwealth Charter, which Brunei has agreed to uphold.”
Benali echoed Peter’s sentiments, saying: “The move to kill gay people by stoning is barbaric and has no place in the 21st century.
“It’s time to demonstrate that London will not tolerate the Sultan’s brutal homophobia. We encourage all businesses and individuals to boycott any dealings with his chain of hotels. The Sultan should become an international pariah.”
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry also spoke at the event. “Any hatred against anyone is hatred against all of us,” she said.
“Our fight is with the sultan of Brunei. Our fight is with this terrible law. We say no.”
Brunei has faced a considerable international backlash since the implementation of the new laws, with the British government and European Union, among others, urging the country to drop the laws.
Hollywood star George Clooney has urged for a boycott of hotels owned by Brunei.
In an op-ed for Deadline, he wrote: “Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.
“Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”
His campaign received the backing of Sir Elton John, who wrote on Twitter: “I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right.
“Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect – as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world.”
“Gay rights are human rights,” Dua Lipa wrote alongside a photo of her trainers, which have a rainbow flag on them.
“Boycott the industries and the people that believe in inhumane anti LGBT+ laws. Taking a stand today and forever to show support. The fight is never over we’re only scratching the surface but we need to be louder than ever.”