DC Brunei Action Joins Global Protest

Friday, June 27, 2014

DC Brunei Action Joins Global Protest(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)

Chanting “We’re gonna beat beat back the Sultan!” dozens of labor and LGBT activists took to the quiet street in front of the Brunei embassy at noon on Friday as part of a global day of action in dozens of cities around the world. The protests targeted Brunei’s union-busting and human rights violations, including the 2009 firing of unionized workers at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, owned by the Sultan of Brunei’s investment agency. “The Sultan is trying to take us back to the third century,” said one demonstrator Friday, noting that Brunei has adopted a new penal code that punishes and targets women, LGBT people, and religious minorities. Rainbow pride flags fluttered in the warm midday breeze amid the Unite Here Local 25 placards and chants of “What do we want? Justice? When do we want it? Now!” Amnesty International says the new code “makes a mockery of the country’s international human rights commitments and must be revoked immediately.” Earlier this month, Pride at Work and several other prominent national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality organizations released a joint letter to President Obama demanding that the US cease further negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement with Brunei.  
- report/photos by Chris Garlock/Union City


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