Black Lives Matter Protesters Block Traffic in UK
Members of the Black Lives Matter movement have blocked roads in three major cities in the UK, including London, where traffic has been brought to a standstill near Heathrow airport.
The Guardian reports that as members of the movement carried out a coordinated day of action Friday morning, police tried to end demonstrations in London, Birmingham and Nottingham during rush hour.
By midday, protesters had chained themselves to one another and remained in place in Nottingham city centre. The rally for Black lives has reportedly brought buses and trams to a halt.
“We are seeing people talking about how they are being attacked, [and] abused in the streets,” Natasha Nkonde, a UK Black Lives Matter activist said. “Other forms of protests have been exhausted and so the disruption today is bringing back to the mainstream discussions around Black lives and the racist structures and inequalities we know about.”
Black Lives Matter UK (UKBLM) is a loose network of anti-racism activists called to action. The group describes the move as a “shutdown” meant to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police during a hard stop.
In Birmingham, activists chanted, “No justice, no peace” as they blocked traffic near the city’s airport. A spokeswoman for the West Midlands police department said four women and one man had been arrested so far on suspicion of obstructing the highway and failing to comply with Section 14 of the Public Order Act.
According to Nkonde, the group is comprised of a mix of people ranging from full-time campaigners and organizers to students and citizens from various backgrounds.
Photo: AP Images, Black Lives Matter protest