Black Lives Matter protest focused on “climate crisis” shuts down London City Airport

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Nine protesters were arrested after chaining themselves together on the runway of London’s City Airport on Tuesday morning, while holding signs of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Over 120 flights were either redirected, cancelled or delayed at the busy airport as a result of the demonstration, as it took hours for the protesters to be cleared.

–Protests in cities across the US – BLM activist arrested

The protesters for the British arm of the Black Lives Matter protests, which had its origins in the United States but is seeing growth in other countries, held signs with such slogans as “Black Lives Matter” and “Climate Crisis is a Racist Crisis.”

“Black people are the first to die, not the first to fly, in this racist climate crisis,” Black Lives Matter UK said in a statement. They explained that the purpose of the protest was to highlight the impact of Britain’s environmental policies on both a local and a global scale.

“When black people in Britain are 28 percent more likely to be exposed to air pollution than their white counterparts, we know that environmental inequality is a racist crisis.”

–BLM activist, DeRay McKesson arrested at Baton Rouge protest

The protesters were reportedly able to swim to London’s City Airport, as the single runway for the airport is surrounded by water.  Police say they were charged with “suspicion of aggravated trespass, being unlawfully airside and breaching the airport’s bylaw.”

But some people were confused by the apparent lack of black protestors in the group.

“Is @UKblm a black led movement because unless my eyes deceive me I cant see any black person in this picture?” one commenter wrote.

–Does climate change disproportionately do harm to African-Americans?

https://twitter.com/LeeJasper/status/773108876564652033

Black Lives Matter UK eventually responded saying their chapter is black-led and white people have a role as allies in the fight for racial equality.

 

 

“There’s a need for white people to take responsibility in a society that privileges them through racism and anti-black racism in particular,” said one tweet from the group’s account.

 

The group also released a video explaining why they chose to focus on the environment for the protest.  “Seven out of 10 of the countries most affected by climate change are in sub-Saharan Africa,” says a presenter. “Climate crisis is a racist crisis.”  Check out the clip below.