A group of Black Lives Matter protesters have chained themselves together on the runway at London’s City Airport, causing delays and forcing all incoming flights to divert to nearby airports.
Police have said they are negotiating with the protesters, who appear to have gained access to the runway by swimming.
“We are awaiting the arrival of specialist resources that are able to ‘unlock’ the protesters. No arrests have been made,” the Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement.
Black Lives Matter UK has claimed responsibility for the disruption, according to the group’s Twitter page. The group claims that climate change is racist, and they are protesting at the airport because “at London City Airport a small elite is able to fly” while more than 3,000 refugees have died in 2016 trying to cross the Mediterranean.
“Climate crisis is a racist crisis,” the group said in another tweet. “7/10 of the countries most affected by climate change are in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Pictures of the event posted on Twitter show several protesters laying down on the runway underneath a wooden tripod they erected. The entire group is surrounded by police and emergency vehicles.
The airport said in a statement that it is “currently experiencing disruption to all flights due to protesters.”