Black Lives Matter Protesters Block Road to Heathrow Airport as Protests Spark Across UK
As part of a U.K. nationwide #Shutdown to protest racism and police violence, Black Lives Matter protesters blocked off roads to London's Heathrow Airport on Friday morning. Other BLM demonstrations took place in the U.K. cities of Nottingham and Birmingham, the Guardian reported.
Outside Heathrow Airport, some protesters lay in the street, while others touted a large banner emblazoned with the words: "This is a crisis." Police said multiple people had been arrested, according to the Guardian.
Parts of the roadway leading to the airport have now re-opened, according to a traffic update on Twitter.
In Nottingham, protesters reportedly lay down across tram lines and blocked traffic.
"Officers are currently on scene and are negotiating with a small number of protesters," a Nottinghamshire police spokesperson said, according to the Guardian. "It is believed that the unplanned demonstration is in line with a national #BlackLivesMatter? protest. Our priority will remain the safety of everyone involved and to bring the demonstration to a peaceful conclusion."
According to this Twitter user, police obscured the protesters with large white sheets.
In Birmingham, demonstrators chanting "No justice, no peace" blocked traffic approaching the city's airport, the Guardian reported.
In a video posted on BLMUK's Facebook page Wednesday, activists talked about racism, police killings, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and other injustices — and asked people to join the Aug. 5 #Shutdown movement.
The protests come five years and a day after police shot and killed 29-year-old Mark Duggan in Tottenham. Duggan's death sparked riots and unrest in cities across England, according to the BBC.
"5 years ago. 1 day after they killed Mark Duggan. 1 day before the riots," a Facebook event page for the Nottingham protest said. "A moment for rage, reflection and rebuilding. A moment for coordinated nationwide action."