London Black Lives Matter pro-environment protest

This 6 SDeptember 2016 video is called UK: Black Lives Matter protest disrupts London airport.

By Sofia Lotto Persio in England:

Anti-racist protest closes City airport

Wednesday 7th September 2016

Activists say black people worst affected by air pollution

NINE Black Lives Matter activists shut down London City Airport yesterday morning in a bid to highlight how air pollution disproportionately affects the lives of black people locally and globally.

The protesters locked themselves together on the runway, which resulted in all flights in and out of the airport being cancelled, delayed or diverted.

All nine were arrested and are being held on suspicion of aggravated trespass, being airside unlawfully and breaching airport by-laws, police said.

The group denounced the airport’s £344 million expansion plans, saying they would further damage the local community’s environment.

London City Airport was targeted by Black Lives Matter due to its status as a business-focused hub.

On its website, the airport boasts about the €136,000 (£114,000) average salary of its passengers, 63 per cent of whom work in business, business services and finance.

“It is an airport designed for the wealthy,” Black Lives Matter said in a statement. “At the same time, 40 per cent of Newham’s population struggle to survive on £20,000 or less.

“When black people in Britain are 28 per cent more likely to be exposed to air pollution than their white counterparts, we know that environmental inequality is a racist crisis.”

Globally, most of the countries worst affected by climate change are in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. According to the Environmental Justice foundation, on average, 27 million people are displaced by climate and weather-related disasters each year.

The Black Lives Matter activists also condemned a lack of help for refugees who risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean — over 3,100 have died since the start of the year — because safer alternatives, such as flying, are unavailable to them.

“Black people are the first to die, not the first to fly, in this racist climate crisis,” they said. Charter flights are, however, an option when people are being deported.

In the afternoon, Black Lives Matter organised a demonstration at the Jamaican High Commission against special flights to remove black people from Britain based on their immigration status, one of which is due to fly to Jamaica on October 7.

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