'Black Lives Matter' protesters block 405 freeway near LAX

Nine protesters were arrested today for staging a demonstration on the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway in Inglewood, spray-painting slogans on the pavement and forcing a roughly 20-minute closure of the roadway on a busy holiday-getaway travel day.

The protest began at 1:27 p.m. on the southbound 405 Freeway near Manchester Boulevard, said Sgt. Paul Peterson of the West Los Angeles California Highway Patrol Office.

"They painted names, words and slogans including `Black Lives Matter' on the surface of all five lanes of pavement," Peterson said. They used several colors of spray paint.

The graffiti also included the word "Ezell," a reference to Ezell Ford, who was killed in a Los Angeles police officer-involved shooting.

Nine protesters -- four women, three men and two boys -- were arrested and will be booked on suspicion of felony vandalism and conspiracy, he said. No injuries were reported. The juveniles were expected to be booked and released to their parents, Peterson said.

The statement released by Black Lives Matter pointed to traffic disruptions "across the country" and called for a "halt on Christmas as usual in memorial of all of the loved ones we have lost".

Read the 'Black Lives Matter' statement:

No Business As Usual: Black Xmas is Here

BLM chapters in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area have declared December 23rd, 2015 Black Xmas.

Two days ago, a Texas grand jury announced their decision of no indictment in the death of Sandra Bland. This young, vibrant Black woman died in police custody, after a racially-motivated stop, a brutal arrest, wrongful bail hearing and unlawful detention. We know Sandra Bland could have been any one of us. So on December 23rd, one of the busiest days of the holiday season, Black communities across the United States are taking brave actions to impede the flow of goods and commerce with peaceful protests to call for an immediate overhaul of the justice system both locally and nationally that will demand accountability for police, removal of grand juries in cases involving police shootings, an immediate halt to militarized police units and weapons, and extensive review of radicalized police practices in Black neighborhoods.

Black Xmas is here and there will be no business as usual until we get accountability for our dead, and justice for the living. Instead of buying gifts to fuel this system, Black Xmas is a day of action to reject the degradation of Black families and communities by police, politicians, and predatory companies, and declare our inherent worth. We will disrupt business as usual until city, state, and federal budgets stop funding Black death and start funding Black futures.

Whether cisgendered, trans, or queer; women or men, elders or children - our Black families refuse to live trapped between poverty and police state violence. From slavery to segregation to the rampant state violence of the 21st century, Black communities have lived under the boot of state repression and corporate power for too long. Today, on Black Xmas, in solidarity with migrant, Palestinian and all oppressed people, we proclaim our humanity, reclaim our streets, and exclaim for the world to hear: Black Lives Matter.

In 2015, more than 300 Black people have been murdered by the police. These are not episodic incidents. They are traumatic reminders of this country's long pattern of devalued Black humanity and state sanctioned violence. Policing in the United States remains governed by a racist system of racial codes, codified into law and cemented into apartheid practices that deny Black humanity and disregard Black life.There are no bad apples, the whole system is guilty, and must be transformed from the bottom up, from the outside, in.

Today, on Black Xmas, we will not bargain for hollow reforms that continue to alienate us from political and economic participation. We will not entertain an official story that does not include our voices. We demand real, authentic and systemic change, now!

(Source: BlackLivesMatter.com)

Two southbound lanes of the freeway have been shut down to clear the protesters.

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