10 Arrested After Black Lives Matter Protesters Block London’s Heathrow Airport

By Chika Dunu, Epoch Times
August 5, 2016 3:37 pm Last Updated: August 5, 2016 3:37 pm

The call for a “nationwide shutdown” on Aug. 5 by Black Lives Matter protesters resulted in multiple arrests and gridlock traffic across the U.K., according to local reports.

Demonstrators unveiled a banner that read “THIS IS A CRISIS” before they lay down on the M4 motorway near Heathrow Airport. 

“There’s a constant disruption of black people’s lives in the everyday,” said Heathrow organizer and journalist Wail Qasim to BBC.

“There are everyday forms of racism you face in terms of stop and search, increased levels of unemployment, over-representation within mental health custody, the prison system—this is an ongoing disruption to black people’s lives which they constantly face.”

 

London’s Metropolitan Police arrested 10 people after the protest. Heathrow Airport tweeted that “traffic is returning to normal following earlier delays.”

Activists also sparked traffic standstill in the cities of Nottingham, Manchester, and Birmingham. In Nottingham, people congregated at Nottingham Theatre Royal, where they lay across tram tracks.

“We need people to listen, to really stop and listen to what is happening to black people—not just in the USA,” said Nottingham organizer Cara Thompson in an interview with BBC.

BBC reported four in Nottingham were subsequently arrested.  

In a statement to the Associated Press, activists said the reason behind the shutdown in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham was to “mourn those who have died in custody and to protest the ongoing racist violence of the police, border enforcement, structural inequalities and the everyday indignity of street racism.”

The nationwide protest occurred one day after the fifth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan. Duggan, 29, was lawfully killed by police in North London on August 4, 2011. His death sparked four days of rioting.