Black Lives Matter Climate Change is Racist

Black Lives Matter activists temporarily shut down a UK airport to send a message that “climate change is racist”.

  • Published:
BLM play UK Black Lives Matter protesters at a Birmingham demonstration. (facebook.com/blacklivesmatteruk)
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On Tuesday morning the London City Airport was shut down as part of Black Lives Matter action, to send a message that “climate change is racist”.

In an opinion piece on the UK Guardian website Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert, an activist involved in the action, said the activists wanted to show Britain as the biggest contributor per capita to global temperature change, but is also one of the least vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

However, seven of the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change are in sub-Saharan Africa.

"We’re not saying that climate change affects only black people. However, it is communities in the global south that bear the brunt of the consequences of climate change, whether physical – floods, desertification, increased water scarcity and tornadoes – or political: conflict and racist borders.

"While a tiny elite can fly to and from London City airport, sometimes as a daily commute, this year alone 3,176 migrants have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean, trying to reach safety on the shores of Europe," she wrote.

 

 

A video circulating on social media also highlights the group's points.

 

 

 

 

The Black Lives Matter video features people talking about inequality in black communities that host infrastructure like airports. Activists state the average salary for a London City Airport passenger as 92, 000 GBP a year (486,650 cedi). Whereas in Newhaw, where the airport is located "40 percent of the population scrape by on 20,000 GBP (105, 800 cedi) a year.”

Those on the video also said airports, power stations and busiest of roads "tend to be in the most disadvantaged working class area where a disproportionate number of black and brown communities live."

The action on Tuesday meant flights at London City Airport were disrupted as protesters gained access to the runway.

The Met Police said it was called to the site at about 05:40 BST after nine protesters erected a tripod and "locked themselves together" on the runway. They were later were removed and arrested, the BBC reported.

This action comes a month after BLM activists shut down major traffic arteries in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

Kelbert wrote that August 5 action was to re-centre the conversation around black lives, here in the UK.

Two days before that action, figures such as Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean Rigg died in police custody in 2008, spokespeople from Movement For Justice and others laid out our message for the world to hear, Kelbert wrote.

"And it was clear that in police custody, in prisons, in employment, in education and on our streets racial inequality is alive and kicking in Britain."

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