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Black Lives Matter protesters have shut off the M4 slip road serving Heathrow Airport by chaining themselves to the road.

A number of people have been arrested at the demonstration after police were called to the scene at 8.25am to break up the group.

The campaign group is calling for a nationwide 'shut down' in London, Nottingham and Manchester on Friday (August 5), which falls one day after the fifth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police in Tottenham.

The protesters blocked the slip road just before the roundabout which has caused huge tailbacks around the area.

Thousands of holiday makers are facing disruption as a result of the protest.

Police say that one lane is currently open but that traffic is congested.

Heathrow Airport protest settles as traffic returns to normal

According to Heathrow Airport and social media reports, the protest appears to have settled in the last hour or so.

The M4 is open and traffic is flowing as normal, according to the airport.

Take a look at the rest of our blog as to what happened earlier, including videos and pictures.

A wider look: footage shows scenes at nationwide protests across the UK

Why protest at Heathrow Airport?

Puzzled social media users have taken to Twitter to express their confusion as to why the protest is being held at Heathrow Airport, when other common spots such as Parliament Square could have been occupied.

It is a question which has cropped up repeatedly since the protests began this morning.

However, protesters, such as those against the Heathrow Third Runway who blocked a tunnel have previously said it is because it causes the maximum amount of chaos which in turn leads to bigger media coverage and what they believe is a more effective way of getting their concerns heard.

Do you agree? Tweet us @getwestlondon and get involved in the debate

Police criticised for putting up screens around protesters

Police tackling the situation at other protests in Nottingham have been criticised for putting screens up around the protesters to shield them from view.

ITV News showed a video of screens being erected around the chanting people so others could not see them

One twitter user wrote: “We’re protesting against lack of police transparency” Police: *literally erects screen*”

Arrests at other protests

Elsewhere, police have arrested five people at the Birmingham protest, while four have been arrested in Nottingham.

Police issue update: 10 arrested

Police have released this update: “Four people have been arrested and taken to west London police stations where they remain in custody.

“A further six people have been arrested at the scene.

“Police are in the process of safely releasing these protesters who have ‘locked on’ to each other.

“One lane remains closed to ensure the safety of protesters and officers.

“ The motorway network around the airport is open and operating as normal.

“ There have been no injuries.”

Major delays in Heathrow area CONTINUE

The M4 spur to Heathrow is still closed with major delays in the area

Mixed reactions sparks debate: How effective is the protest?

A divide of opinions on social media has sparked a debate as to whether the protests are effective in achieving their cause - or simply disruptive. Some have come out in support of this morning’s protest, taking to Twitter to voice why they believe it is the right thing to do.

Others have clearly said they simply don’t know if this is the correct approach to highlight the Black Lives Matter cause.

And some have said there is “no logic” behind the decision.

https://twitter.com/skybluemoon10

What is your opinion? Leave a comment below, or tweet us @getwestlondon and get involved in the debate

Protesters arms encased in cement

Protesters at Heathrow airport had encased their arms in tubes surrounded by cement, which police are currently trying to cut through individually.

Katie Hopkins gives her opinion

Katie Hopkins has taken to Twitter to give her opinion on the protest

Further protests planned

Further protests are planned for 6pm at Altab Ali park, near Aldgate East station, to run simultaneously with events at Alexandra Park in Manchester and St Peter’s Gate in Nottingham.

More pictures from the scene

Twitter user @WailQ, who is at the protest, put this photo on Twitter earlier this morning.

Fifth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan

The campaign group is calling for a nationwide ‘shut down’ in London, Nottingham and Manchester today, which falls one day after the fifth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police in Tottenham.

Twitter reaction

People on Twitter are sharing this image as to why the protests are important.

Watch police try to diffuse the situation

Twitter user @symeonbrown has taken this video of police trying to diffuse the situation.

Reaction to events

People are reacting on Twitter to today’s events, if you’ve got an opinion tweet us at @getwestlondon.

More pictures of events at Heathrow

A Twitter account posting as @ukblm posted this tweet an hour ago showing the scene at Heathrow.

Protests around the country

Similar protests are taking place in Manchester and Birmingham, while in Nottingham all the tram lines have been shut down due to protesters.

Heathrow issues statement

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “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 working with the authorities to resolve the issue but advise passengers to allow more time to drive into Terminals 2 and 3.”

Aviation Police issue update on roads

The Aviation Police Twitter account has also issued an update on the roads

Transport for London road update

Transport for London have issued an update on the road

Pictures from the slip road earlier this morning

The protest, which was across the slip road from the M4 to Heathrow Airport, blocked traffic just before the roundabout, causing long queues

The Black Lives Matter protest has caused heavy traffic on the M4 Heathrow slip road
The Black Lives Matter protest has caused heavy traffic on the M4 Heathrow slip road (Image: @WailQ)

UKBLM release statement on events

In a press release issued this morning, a spokesperson said: “This morning UKBLM have #Shutdown roads in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham to mourn those who have died in custody and to protest the ongoing racist violence of the police, border enforcement, structural inequalities and the everyday indignity of street racism.

“ We have chosen today for our action to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Mark Duggan’s death at the hands of the Metropolitan Police.

“We stand in solidarity with the families and friends of all who have died at the hands of the British state.

“We take action because justice has not been delivered through conventional means: the police, the IPCC, the courts or the legislature.

“ UKBLM is a network of anti-racist activists from across the UK who believe deeply that #BlackLivesMatter.

“We believe the time is now for a Black Lives Matter movement in the UK to #Shutdown a nationwide crisis of racism.”

Key information

Black Lives Matter protesters have shut off the M4 slip road serving Heathrow Airport by chaining themselves to the road.

A number of people have been arrested at the demonstration after police were called to the scene at 8.25am to break up the group.

Police say that one lane is currently open but that traffic is congested.