The UK arm of the Black Lives Matter movement is holding coordinated rallies in London, Birmingham and Nottingham today. This morning, a group of protestors in London lay down in the road on the approach to Heathrow airport, causing "traffic chaos", The Guardian reported. They held a banner that read: "This is a crisis." London's Metropolitan police said a number of people were arrested. A spokesperson for Heathrow airport apologised to "passengers whose journeys are being disrupted", and said the airport is "working with the authorities to resolve the issue".
Activists also blocked the road to the city's airport in Birmingham, while they chanted “No justice, no peace”. Four women and one man were arrested just before 7.30am on the A45 in Solihull, close to Birmingham airport, according to a West Midlands police spokeswoman.
Protestors also lay in the middle of tram lines in Nottingham city centre, blocking traffic. A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire police said: “Officers are currently on scene and are negotiating with a small number of protesters," The Guardian reported. "It is believed that the unplanned demonstration is in line with a national #BlackLivesMatter protest. Our priority will remain the safety of everyone involved and to bring the demonstration to a peaceful conclusion.”
The action comes a day after the five-year anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan and is part of #BlackAugust, a campaign to raise awareness of racism and police brutality. The #BlackLivesMatterUK group previously announced on Twitter that they were calling for a "nationwide shutdown". The Facebook event page says: "5 years ago. 1 day after they killed Mark Duggan. 1 day before the riots. A moment for rage, reflection and rebuilding. A moment for coordinated nationwide action."
The action received support from many activists on Twitter.
Others, meanwhile, blamed the protestors for inconveniencing people making their way to the airport for their holidays.