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Black Lives Matter Blocks Roads in London, Other U.K. Cities

A British offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement blocked the road to London's biggest airport Friday and held demonstrations across other cities.
Image: Black Lives Matter U.K. protest at Heathrow
Protesters from Black Lives Matter U.K. block the road into London's Heathrow Airport on Friday.Twitter / #BlackLivesMatterUK

LONDON — A British offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement blocked the road to one of Europe's busiest airports Friday and held demonstrations across three other cities.

The capital's Metropolitan Police said that 10 people were arrested following the protest outside Heathrow airport, which saw demonstrators lying in the highway and holding signs saying "THIS IS A CRISIS."

However, six of those arrested remained at the scene as of noon local time (7 a.m. ET) because they had locked themselves together and were being disentangled by officers.

Demonstrators also blocked streets in the English cities of Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham.

The nationwide protest marked five years since police shot dead Mark Duggan in north London, an event that sparked four days of rioting across the country. An inquest jury ruled in Jan. 2014 that Duggan was killed lawfully but his family last year won the right to appeal.

Although shootings by Britain's largely unarmed police are far rarer than in the United States, Black Lives Matter U.K. is protesting a broad range of other issues.

The movement says a disproportionate number of young black men are being held in custody in Britain — and that a disproportionate number of people who die in custody are from black and minority-ethnic communities.

Its activists have described their anger at "those incarcerated and abused in immigration detention centers" — referencing Britain's controversial asylum-application system — well as the racial inequalities that persist in the country.

The movement is also protesting the roughly 3,000 "black and brown bodies" who have died while attempting to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year.

In June, hundreds of people marched on the British Parliament in protest at the killing of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana.