MAIN roads were blocked off and traffic brought to a standstill as hundreds of protesters marched through the city.

The Brighton branch of Extinction Rebellion, a group set up to help reverse climate change, hosted a funeral march for life on earth this afternoon.

Activists blocked off Montpelier road at about 2.30pm and led a procession of hundreds along Western Road towards the Clock Tower.

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Buses had to divert and cars waited in queues as the “funeral march” headed through the centre of town.

Mourners carrying gravestones, a funeral director and a bagpiper led the procession.

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Claudia Fisher, member of Extinction Rebellion, said: “It’s really time to get people to wake up.

“There are so many people sleeping through this climate change crisis and we need to do all we can to get everyone on board together and fight what could turn out to be a serious tragedy.

“People are asking ‘what is it all about’?

“Well we are forced to cause disruption because when you cause disruption that is when people actually stop and listen.

“We only have 11 years left before climate change will start to have a fatal affect on the world.”

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Calvin Moore, from Brighton, who led the funeral for life march, said: “What is distinctive about our protest is we are not just talking about raising awareness, we are talking about the fact that things are breaking down.

“We are showing people that we need to deal with a world where damage has already been done.”

Mr Moore, who was trained as an undertaker by trade, went dressed as a funeral director for the march.

When the procession reached the Clock Tower, activists stood and read poems about the loss of life on Earth.

A eulogy was read out and the Extinction Rebellion choir sang Wake Up by indie rock band Arcade Fire.

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Driver, Chris Avery, from Burgess Hill, was caught in the middle of the demonstration by the Clock Tower.

He was stuck between two banners blocking the traffic for about 30 minutes while the eulogy was given.

He said: “I don’t mind being told to wait while their protest takes place.

“I just feel a bit bad because I am sat here in a vintage car and they are probably the worst kind for the environment.”

Extinction Rebellion will be joining an international protest for climate change in London on April 15. 

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