Black Lives Matter protesters shut down London City Airport
Nine Black Lives Matter activists who sailed to a London airport were arrested after blocking the runway and triggering massive delays early Tuesday, police said.
The disruptive demonstrators — initially believed to be from environmental group Plane Stupid — made it onto a runway at the London City Airport around 5:40 a.m. after sailing across the Royal Docks, London Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
“They have erected a tripod and have locked themselves together,” the statement said, adding officers were trying to negotiate with the demonstrators.
Runways were closed and passengers were urged to remain patient as police resolved the matter.
Flights later resumed after the demonstrators were arrested.
The protesters face charges of aggravated trespass, being unlawfully airside and breaching London City Airport bylaws, police said.
Initial media reports suggested anti-aviation expansion group Plane Stupid was behind the airport stunt. But a tweet clarified the situation: “all credit for this morning’s #Shutdown action should go to #blacklivesmatter.”
Nonetheless, Plane Stupid posted a photo onto their Facebook page showing protesters lying on the runway surrounded by one banner reading “Black Lives Matter” and another reading “Climate Crisis is a Racist Crisis.”
The environmental group recently expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, saying the “links between our struggles are clear.”
"At London City Airport a small elite is able to fly," it said. "In 2016, 3,176 migrants have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean #Shutdown."