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Black Lives Matter protesters shut London airport for 6 hours

A tweet on the Black Lives Matter twitter page called for 'white people to take responsibility'. (Photo is representative.) Photograph: (Getty)

WION London, United Kingdom Sep 06, 2016, 02.49 PM (IST)
Nine people from the Black Lives Matter movement 'erected a tripod and locked themselves together' on the London city airport runway today, causing flights to be diverted for six hours.

All nine have now been removed and taken into police custody, the London Metropolitan police said in a statement on their website.

Officers were alerted at 5.40 am (local time) to a number of protesters at London City airport, the statement said.

The Twitter page of Black Lives Matter claimed responsibility and posted a video showing the protesters locked together on the runway, next to a sign.
 

They tweeted they were protesting UK's environmental impact on black people. Another tweet called for 'white people to take responsibility'.

"7/10 of the countries most affected by climate change are in sub-Saharan Africa," said another tweet.
   

London City Airport apologised for the disruption in a tweet and advised passengers to check with their airlines for flight information.

The nine people were arrested for aggravated trespass, being unlawfully airside and breaching London City Airport bylaws. All the protesters who had chained themselves together on the runway were white, The Guardian reported a spokeswoman for Black Lives Matter UK as saying.
 
All flights due to land at the airport were diverted to Southend and Gatwick airports, near London. The airport's sole runway is surrounded by water, but it was reported that the protesters were able to either swim or use a dinghy to cross the wharf, raising questions about security, AFP reported.

(WION with inputs from AFP)
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