LONDON — Black Lives Matter protesters blocked off a road leading to Heathrow Airport in the British capital Friday, causing traffic chaos.
The activists unfurled a banner with the words ‘this is a crisis’ and laid down on a turnoff from the M4 freeway heading to the airport, one of the world’s busiest.
Meanwhile, in the central English city of Nottingham, activists blocked streetcars by lying down on the tracks while other protests took place in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester, the group said.
Black Lives Matter was founded in protest at police killings in the United States and has garnered supporters around the world.
The British group called for the protests to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2011 shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man, by police in north London that sparked riots in a number of cities in England. The U.K. Group has also highlighted deaths in authorities’ custody and stop-and-searches in Britain.
“This morning UKBLM have #Shutdown roads in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham 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 group said in a statement Friday.
“We need black people all over the world to come together, groups and individuals, to build this movement to achieve justice and equality in Britain and all over the world,” organizer Joshua Virasami told the BBC.
He added: “We’re asking the government to take responsibility, not just to investigate the statistics but to hear the demands of the communities.”.
Cara Thompson, the organizer of the protest in Nottingham, told the BBC: “We need people to listen, to really stop and listen to what is happening to black people — not just in the USA. The murder of our kids, our families, the fact that black people are three times less likely to be hired for a job.”.
Scotland Yard said 10 people were arrested in the Heathrow incident, including six who were locked on to each other. While the BBC reported that four protesters were arrested in Nottingham.