ENVIRONMENTAL activists Extinction Rebellion staged a mini festival to recruit new members.

The group - which staged major protests across London landmarks in April - attracted hundreds of supporters to their event.

The group held a mass die-in in Churchill Square in January and the Brighton arm of the organistaion was responsible for blockading Marble Arch for 11 days - resulting in more than 20 arrests.

One of the group’s founders, Roger Hallam, visited the city to help local supporters plan new acts of civil disobedience around Brighton and Hove.

He said: “We’ve been lied to by politicians about the climate for three decades and now we’re in this horrendous situation.

“The environmental movement has woken up to the reality of our situation. Standard protesting, leafleting, signing petitions and campaigning hasn’t worked.

“Now is the time for a proper rebellion.

“In April, we brought London to a standstill and a thousand people were arrested. It was the biggest single act of civil disobedience in British history. It made big things happen. We met Michael Gove. Parliament declared a climate emergency. The Labour Party declared a climate emergency and over 50,000 people joined us.

“We are organising another rebellion in October. This is how radical change happens.”

More than 200 people from Brighton and Hove took part in the London protests and they say their active member ship has grown 138% and they now have more than 2,200 members on their Facebook page.

Saturday’s festival, called Gathering the Whirlwind saw guerilla gardening, tree climbing and banner painting workshops.

A spokesman said: “ This recruitment drive was organised so that the group can stage bigger and better acts of civil disobedience locally and also grow numbers for the next major international action, centred around London, in the autumn.”

The group is hoping to mobilise 10,000 members in Brighton and Hove.

Brighton Extinction Rebellion helped campaign towards Brighton and Hove City Council declaring a climate emergency last December.

The local branch is made up of parents, teachers, doctors, business owners, hospital workers, academics, creative industry workers, council employees, office workers, retail staff, tradespeople, jobseekers, artists, pensioners and students united by a common concern about a lack of action over climate change.