Solidarity with Qatari women, LGBTs and migrant workers
London, UK – 19 November 2022
Ninety people, including football fans from the Arsenal LGBT+ fan group, joined a colourful noisy protest outside Qatar’s London embassy at 1pm today, Saturday 19 November – the day before the start of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Nearly half of those at the protest were from countries from which Qatar draws many of its migrant workers: Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.
The protesters chanted slogans:
“Shame on Qatar! Shame on FIFA!”
“No freedom! No football!”
“2-4-6-8 Qatar must legislate! 3-5-7-9 Equality for all every time!”
Protest coordinator, Peter Tatchell, said:
“We called out the homophobic, sexist and racist regime in Qatar. We also sent a message of love and solidarity with victims of the dictatorship: Qatari LGBTs, women and migrant workers.
“Our aim was to keep the pressure on the Qatari regime and its backers in FIFA, the football governing body that shamefully gave Qatar the World Cup.
“There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like Qatar. Football must be a level playing field for all. That’s not compatible with discrimination. If a star Qatari footballer came out as gay, he would be more likely to be jailed than be selected to play for the national team. That’s discrimination and against FIFA’s rules. But FIFA is allowing it to happen.
Our protest urged:
“End the criminalisation, jailing, online entrapment, ‘honour’ killing and forced conversion of LGBTs.
“Abolish the male guardian system, whereby women have to get male permission to marry, work, study and travel abroad.
“Compensate the families of dead migrant workers, pay unpaid wages, close overcrowded slum hostels and give workers the right to join a trade union,” Mr Tatchell said.