Simultaneous protests have taken place in London, Nottingham and elsewhere
Black Lives Matter blocked the M4 slip road to Heathrow airport this morning, lying down in the road under a banner that read ‘This Is A Crisis’.
At the same time, protesters in Nottingham blocked roads and tram lines, and actions were reported in Birmingham and Manchester.
The nationwide #shutdown was called by Black Lives Matter UK (BLMUK) to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan.
In this video, members of the BLMUK coalition explain why the action is being taken.
— #BlackLivesMatterUK (@ukblm) August 3, 2016
The activists point to the number of deaths in police custody, which disproportionately affect black people, and the almost total lack of convictions.
They name Sarah Reed, Jermaine Baker and Mzee Mohammed, who have all died in the last eight months, either in custody or in confrontations with the police.
They highlight that black people are 37 times more likely to be stopped and searched, that they face more severe sentencing than white people do for the same offences, and face ‘the indignity of racism everyday.’
The movement is also highly vocal about Britain’s refugee and migration policy. The video references the deaths of black and brown people in the Mediterranean (‘3034 in 2016 alone’), the number of people ‘bundled into vans’ and deported, and the situation of those ‘incarcerated and abused in immigration detention centres.’
On its Facebook page, BLMUK describes itself as ‘a coalition of activists from across the UK who believe deeply that Black Lives Matter. The struggle is global, and so must be the solution.’
Police have reportedly made a number of arrests in both London and Nottingham.
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