ENVIRONMENTAL activists have been arrested as they took part in climate change protests.

Members of campaign group Extinction Rebellion launched a two-week International Rebellion protest in London on Monday, with sit-ins taking place all over the city.

IT consultant Joshua Froimovici, 46, from Preston Park, Brighton, joined hundreds of activists in a blockade in Whitehall on Tuesday afternoon.

He said: “The point behind me taking part in the disruption in the capital and getting arrested is to send a clear message to the Government, which is that members of the public expect it to act according to the scientific community’s recommendations when it comes to the climate and ecological emergency.

“It’s easy to ignore petitions, letters to MPs and non-disruptive protests.

“The only way to get the Government to listen is to disrupt business as usual.”

There were chants of “police, police, we love you, we’re doing this for your children too” as arrests were made and police tore down protest banners, and a samba band played to the crowds.

Some activists locked themselves together and braved the rain and the cold to maintain their position overnight on Tuesday.

Hilary Harris, 66, of West Hill, Brighton, was one of 14 people who chose to remain outside Downing Street after being isolated by police.

She said: “We weren’t prepared for being there overnight, but it didn’t take long for us to decide to stay.

“There were no toilets and we were under surveillance.

“Thankfully some kind people handed us sleeping bags over the barriers, but it was incredibly cold around dawn.

“I learnt a lot that night – you have to cope.

“It was an exhausting experience but I would do it again, as I believe we are sending a powerful message.

“People need to know why we are here – this is an emergency.”

Ms Harris, who is an ex-headteacher, said she is known as a law-abiding citizen and she has received many supportive messages since she was arrested on Wednesday morning for obstruction of the highway.

She said: “I have two children and three grandchildren and this is for them.

“As David Attenborough has said, right now we are facing a manmade disaster on a global scale and the Government are not taking sufficient action.

“They have not met any of the three demands Extinction Rebellion are campaigning for.

“If they do then I will very happily go home.

“I’d much rather not be in the cold on the streets.”

Elsewhere in London, more activists from Brighton were involved in demonstrations throughout the week.

Claudia Fisher, 57, from Preston Park, was arrested on Thursday for gluing herself to the main entrance of London City Airport in Newham.

She said: “If people accept there is a climate emergency, then we need to act like there is one.

“I’m doing this for my children, for my unborn children who I no longer want to have, for everyone else’s children and for generations to come.

“This is because I know from looking at the science there is a very bleak future for humanity, unless we start to act right now.”

Ms Fisher was one in a large group of Extinction Rebellion protesters from all over the country who staged a sit-in at the airport, chanting and singing protest songs.

There was a high police presence, and several protesters were arrested for aggravated trespassing.

Ms Fisher said: “I was taken away to Lewisham police station at 12.30pm, but the police were kind and supportive.

“We got the impression they were doing their job but were sympathetic to the cause.”

Phoebe Valentine, 23, who is a student at the University of Sussex, also glued herself to the airport entrance.

She said: “I did this because I want to grow old.

“Whenever I think of the future, it hits me that there might not be one, so I took this action.”

Extinction Rebellion is an international network of activists campaigning for Government action to tackle climate change.

In the UK, their three demands include immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and halt biodiversity loss, as well as the introduction of a citizens’ assembly to lead on decisions relating to climate change.

They are also demanding for the Government to “tell the truth” and declare a climate emergency.