Black Lives Matter activists arrested for London City Airport protest

'We are preparing the airfield to resume operations as soon as possible'

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 06 September 2016 10:44
Black Lives Matter storm London City airport runway

Nine Black Lives Matter activists have been arrested by police after they occupied the runway at London City Airport this morning.

The final activists were arrested around 11.25am, Scotland Yard said, nearly six hours after the group occupied the runway.

An airport spokesman said: "We are preparing the airfield to resume operations as soon as possible."

The protesters reportedly bypassed security by using a rubber dinghy to cross the docks.

Police said they erected a tripod and locked themselves together on the runway.

From 9.30 Met Police officers began to arrest the protesters.

Several emergency service vehicles were parked on the runway as attempts were made to clear the protesters.

A man in black, who had attached himself to the top of a wooden tripod, was surrounded by police officers and a set of aircraft steps were wheeled up to him in an apparent bid to get him down.

Police boats could also be seen circling the dock surrounding the runway.

Having attached a helmet to the man, police removed him from the top of the structure and on to the plane steps.

After sitting briefly on the platform with a rope around him, he was taken down.

A police van was seen driving down the runway, away from the scene.

Police said the seven have been held on suspicion of aggravated trespass, being unlawfully air-side and breaching airport by-laws.

In a statement, Black Lives Matter UK said: "This action was taken in order to highlight the UK's environmental impact on the lives of black people locally and globally.

"As the largest per capita contributor to global temperature change and yet among the least vulnerable to its deadly effects, the UK leads in ensuring that our climate crisis is a racist crisis."

The group added that the planned expansion of London City Airport "consigns the local community in Newham to further deterioration of their environment".

The group says the airport caters to people working in financial services - making it a facility to help the wealthy.

Black Lives Matter said "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."

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