Black Lives Matter UK protesters charged after causing travel chaos with City Airport blockade

Josh Martin
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Police not planes were on the City Airport tarmac yesterday attempting to remove Black Lives Matter UK protesters (Source: Getty)

The group of nine climate change protesters who caused travel chaos for thousands of London City Airport commuters yesterday have been charged.

The Metropolitan Police said the group have now each been charged with aggravated trespass and being unlawfully airside within a restricted area of an aerodrome.

Read more: Runway reopens at London City Airport after seven protesters arrested

City travellers' favourite airport in east London saw flights delayed, diverted and cancelled after the group, called Black Lives Matter UK, broke onto the runway and chained themselves to the tarmac in a stunt to bring attention to the "racist disparity" in the consequences of climate change.

However, unlike their famous US counterparts who have staged protests about the killing of unarmed Black Americans by police officers, the nine arrested are all white.

They are: William Pettifer of Radford, Esme Waldron of Brighton, Sama Baka, Alex Etchart and Sam Lund-Harket of Roydon, Natalie Fiennes, and Ben Tippet of Wandsworth, Deborah Francis-Grayson of Slough and Richard Collet-White of Kempston.

Pettifer and Waldron are members of the anti-airport expansion group Plane Stupid. This is not their first airport stunt either – the two chained themselves to a van and parked it across the main tunnel to the terminals 1, 2 and 3 in November last year.

Read more: Why the Black Lives Matter protest at London City Airport was absurd

The protesters reportedly reached London City airport by boat before sunrise yesterday and chose the Docklands airport due to its appeal for wealthier business leaders.

Police officers spent hours negotiating with the protesters on the tarmac as they waited for specialist gear to unlock them from a tripod they had assembled – leaving angry passengers looking on from the terminal.

After nearly six hours the protesters were removed from the site and taken into police custody.

They are due in court on Wednesday 14 September.

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