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Incidents

Black Lives Matter Protest Shuts Down London Airport

Black Lives Matter Protest Shuts Down London Airport
Joe Cortez

Protestors invade runway at airport, forcing flights to divert to other airports

Nine protesters claiming to be part of the “Black Lives Matter” movement could face charges of aggravated trespassing and breaching airport bylaws after taking their protest to a runway of London City Airport (LCY). Britain’s The Independent reports that the protest was ultimately broken up, but not before shutting down the airport for hours and causing incoming flights to divert.

The incident began around 5:30 a.m. local time, when police were given reports of protesters demonstrating on the runway. The group of nine white protesters constructed a tripod on one of the runways, and spread two banners on the tarmac reading “Climate crisis is a racist crisis” and “Black Lives Matter.” To make matters more difficult, the group locked themselves together to prevent police from breaking the protest.

Local authorities were able to clear the group after six hours, with the last protester removed around 11:25 a.m. local time. During the protest, incoming flights were redirected to either London Gatwick Airport (LGW) or London Southend Airport (SEN). FlightAware reported that at least 50 flights coming from or heading to LCY were cancelled, with around that many delayed.

In a statement to the media, organizers of Black Lives Matter UK took responsibility for the protest. The group claims planned airport expansion in London will create a bigger pollution problem, which will be felt the most by minorities.

“This action was taken in order to highlight the UK’s environmental impact on the lives of black people locally and globally,” organizers told The Independent. “As the largest per capita contributor to global temperature change and yet among the least vulnerable to its deadly effects, the UK leads in ensuring that our climate crisis is a racist crisis.”

British lawmakers approved the LCY expansion earlier this year, which would focus on improvements to modernize the airport and accommodate more modern aircraft. In addition, a decision to add another runway to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) or LGW is expected to come down later this month.

[Photo: Airlive.net]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. UncleDude

    September 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    So has any Black Person been killed by the Police in the UK in the last 100 years?

  2. Dave737

    September 6, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    aircraft had to divert? just land, they’ll move.

  3. Widgets

    September 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    They’re digging their own grave. Inconveniencing hundreds of people for no relevant reason won’t make them supporters.

  4. valuetactics

    September 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Why did it take 6 hours to remove them? Locked together or not, that is ridiculous.

  5. BJM

    September 9, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Since 1990 157 deaths by police in Black and Minority Ethnic communities. This is per Inquest. The numbers are not broken down by race or ethnicity. I think we can assume at least one black person in those statistics.

    http://www.inquest.org.uk/statistics/bame-deaths-in-police-custody

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