ENVIRONMENTAL protesters held a send-off for two court-bound activists to kick off a weekend of action.

John Dowle and Scott Henery, both members of campaign group Brighton Extinction Rebellion, made their way to court in London after they were arrested in Oxford Circus during protests in April.

Activists held a send-off for them at Brighton Station.

At City of London Magistrates Court both Mr Dowle, 55, and Mr Henery, 50, pleaded not guilty to charges of disobeying a section 14 order to move from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch.

Their trial was adjourned until October 21.

Speaking before the hearing, Mr Henery, of Rosebery Avenue, Woodingdean, said he would have “failed as a father” if he did not protest.

He said: “I have no choice but to protest. I’ve been supporting my three kids all my life because I want a safe future for them.

“It doesn’t matter if I leave them homeless or with a house unless our Government steps up and takes action. As a father I will have failed if that doesn’t happen.

“But they’re not listening. The climate emergency was just a symbolic act.”

Mr Dowle said he “had no choice” but to protest.

The gardener, of Hanover Street, Brighton, said: “I was at the Kyoto climate march back in 2001, I’ve supported Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Green Party.

“I’ve tried veganism, eating organically, reducing waste, but this non-violent action seems to be the only thing that’s working.

“Seventy per cent of Britain’s wildlife has disappeared since the 1970s. Global warming is speeding up.

“We’re driving ourselves to extinction.”

The station send-off marked the start of a weekend of protest action in Brighton.

Yesterday evening a crowd of cyclists gathered at The Level to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

Today protesters will hold a “bike swarm” outside Barclays bank in North Street at 11am.

Activists will conduct a “mass letter hand-in” to the branch manager calling for the bank to end investment in fossil fuel companies.

Later in the day at 1pm Extinction Rebellion members will gather at Brighton Yoga Festival at Bhasvic college in Dyke Road.

Finally a “regenerative culture picnic” will take place at the Whitehawk Inn, in Whitehawk Road, Brighton, on Sunday.

Organiser Claudia Fisher said: “Our rebellion grows every day. We’re inundated with people joining us.

“And this is just the beginning. There is so much more to come.”