Taking place in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow, the protests have been motivated by a widely shared CNN report which verified claims that black people were being auctioned off in Libya for as little as $400 (about £300), in sickening conditions.
Slavery Remembrance, who has organised many of the marches, told Dazed that they believe the slave trade in Libya is linked to rising levels of racism and anti-blackness in Arab countries.
They added: “The complete disregard for human life shown to black people in many countries harks back to the treatment of black Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) and highlights that the belief system which triggered and upheld the TST – black people are disposable commodities and less than human - is still ingrained in the psyche of many countries and individuals today.”
“Our mission is to stop what is happening in Libya by raising awareness and addressing the racist anti-black agenda that allowed this to happen,” their website reads.
The history behind the indignities currently happening in Libya is complicated: according to the BBC there was a “well established” slave trade in East Africa driven by sultanates in the Middle East long before Europeans arrived in the region.
Libya, a country which was ruled by dictator Muammar Gaddafi for four decades, was thrown into chaos during the Arab spring of 2010, which led to an ongoing civil war.
The London protest begins at 12pm today (December 9) at Belgrave Square