‘Nationwide Shutdown’: Black Lives Matter Protests Block Roads To Heathrow And Birmingham Airports

Black Lives Matter protesters have staged what they are calling a “nationwide shutdown”, blocking roads into Heathrow and Birmingham airports as well as major transport routes.

Campaigners blocked roads approaching the airports by lying across the lanes of traffic, sparking tailbacks and potential delays for holidaymakers.

Police said a number of people have been arrested at Heathrow after officers were called to a demonstration at 8.25am today on the M4 slip road at the airport.

Protesters block the entrance to Heathrow Airport. (PA)

Delays - the protest sparked tailbacks on the road into Heathrow (Pictures: PA)

Pictures posted on Twitter show protesters lying in a row across the road beneath a banner which says: “This is a crisis”, while chants of “black lives matter” could be heard.

The campaign group had called for a “nationwide #shutdown” to mark the anniversary of the London riots in a post on social media yesterday.

Protesters also caused disruption in Nottingham, where several were photographs lying across tram tracks in the city.

Nottingham - protesters blocked tram tracks

At Heathrow and Nottingham screens have been erected, reportedly to prevent motorists from being distracted.

Video footage of the protest near Birmingham Airport shows police officers pulling demonstrators away from the middle of the road.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers had been called to Heathrow to reports of a number of people blocking the road leading to the airport.

“A number of people have been arrested. One lane has been opened but there is traffic congestion. Police continue to deal with the situation at the scene.”

Screens - Police have erected screens in Heathrow and Nottingham

A Heathrow spokesman said the protest did not appear to be causing people to miss flights, adding: “Heathrow supports the right to peaceful protest within the law, but the safety and security of our passengers, aircraft and colleagues, together with the smooth running of the operation, is paramount.

"We are sorry to those passengers whose journeys are being disrupted and we are working with the authorities to resolve the issue.”

Nottinghamshire Police said they were aware of disruption in the city, and officers were at the scene negotiating with a small number of protesters.