A protester interrupted diners at the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair, London when he pulled out a megaphone. The Dorchester is one of many Brunei-owned hotels, which was why Jordan Tannahill was there protesting.
People are calling for a boycott of all Brunei businesses after the country passed a law legalizing the execution of gay people.
The boycott kicked off and gained momentum thanks to George Clooney. The Oscar-winning actor penned an op-ed explaining he’d be boycotting the country’s hotels due to the law.
Tannahill, a Canadian author, playwright and filmmaker is one of many now protesting and boycotting Brunei’s business holdings.
In the video, Tannahill is seating at a table in a dining area of the hotel when he suddenly stands and pulls out a megaphone.
‘In case you haven’t heard, there’s a boycott of the Dorchester Hotel,’ he tells patrons.
‘On 3 April, the Sultan of Brunei announced the stoning […] as a punishment of homosexuality and adultery. We do not condone the brutality of our LGBT sisters and brothers in Brunei.’
As he continues, telling people a Brunei agency owns the Dorchester, security follows him.
Afternoon tea protest action at The Dorchester Hotel, in response to Brunei’s newly ratified laws condemning homosexuals to death by stoning. The Dorchester is owned and operated by the Brunei Investment Agency. #boycottthedorchester
Posted by Jordan Tannahill on Thursday, 4 April 2019
Eventually, security forcefully removes Tannahill and his friends from the premises. While security escorts him out, Tannahill continues encouraging a boycott and standing in solidarity.
The group of three men continue shouting their protests in the parking lot and on the street.
Tannahill told GSN what prompted him to take this action: ‘We cannot sit by as our LGBT+ sisters and brothers in Brunei, or indeed anywhere, are dehumanised, brutalised, and murdered. The action today was a gesture of solidarity. And hopefully it draws attention to the ways in which we are implicated, through the businesses we chose to patronise, with the oppression of others elsewhere.’
Growing resistance and protests
Brunei is also facing consequences from businesses for their new law.
Virgin Australia ended a deal with Royal Brunei Airlines over the law.
The UN slammed the law as ‘inhuman’, but not every government or organization has spoken out to condemn Brunei. The US has remained relatively quiet, including Donald Trump and his administration, and UK universities are refusing to rescind three of the Sultan’s honorary degrees.
That’s why people across the world are starting to boycott these hotels, even if they’ve never stayed at them before. For some it includes canceling dinner reservations and for others it’s about contacting their local politicians.
Hundreds of people are expected at the demonstration outside the Dorchester Hotel this Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.
These protests and backlash on social media prompted the Dorchester Collection to deactivate the social media pages for its hotels.