Five Shoreham activists were among nearly 1,700 arrested as Extinction Rebellion’s Autumn Uprising neared the end of its second week.
The Shoreham rebels took part in several actions over the two-week period, including occupying the road outside Downing Street, blocking roads in the City of London and attempting to shut down London City Airport.
Stefan Lindon, a 56-year-old a pianist and grandfather-of-three from Shoreham, was arrested three times during the course of the protests.
He said: “You know that things are urgent when thousands of people are putting their liberty on the line.
“The climate and ecological emergency isn’t somewhere off in the future – it’s here.
“We’ve wiped out 60 per cent of our wildlife since the 1970s and 75 per cent of insect life since the 1990s.
“Temperatures in some parts of the world topped 50C last summer.
“Cities are running out of water.
“And yet getting arrested is the only way we can persuade people to listen to the science.”
He said the experience of protesting over the fornight had been ‘tough’.
“It’s really hard,” he said. “It’s really exhausting. I’d rather not be doing it, but it’s out of necessity.”
A blanket police ban on all London-based Extinction Rebellion gatherings announced earlier this week did not stop the Shoreham activists from continuing to protest.
Dr Carolyn Drake, an ex-head teacher and mother-of-two from Shoreham, who assisted with wellbeing and first aid throughout the protests, said: “This is the most serious thing that we’ve ever had to face.
“If we don’t take action now, we’ll all probably be dead in the not-too-distant future.
“It sounds dramatic, but it’s true!
“We’ve got to increase awareness about how serious this is so that people make appropriate decisions.”
She added that Shoreham’s Extinction Rebellion branch did not condone the action of some affiliated activists who targeted London’s public transport yesterday morning.
Footage showed that some protestors were dragged from the roof of a tube by commuters.
Carolyn said: “Our actions are nonviolent and we regret the behaviour of a few individuals who appeared not respect this principle.”
Shoreham’s branch of Extinction Rebellion meets every Wednesday night at 7pm at the Shoreham Centre.