CLIMATE change protesters from Extinction Rebellion caused disruption across the capital last week.

Reports yesterday were that there had been 1,065 arrests and 71 people charged in connection with the protests - that had included fixing a pink boat in the middle of the busy intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street, protesters gluing themselves to a train and to Jeremy Corbyn’s fence, obstructing trains and damaging Shell’s headquarters.

Their actions are set to continue this week with a march from Marble Arch to Parliament Square.

And protests are also now being held in the county, with over 100 people taking part in a march on Great Malvern as part of the movement.

Much of the media attention predictably has been on the disruption, and this is where there can be a problem with this kind of direct action. I am in complete support of their cause, and sympathetic to what they are trying to do. Many people have chosen to either put their head in the sand or deny climate change its real, but either way that leads to ignoring the danger we are all in.

Without wanting to sound patronising many of these protesters are young and political active and that is a fantastic thing. They are determined to put climate change on the political agenda, when it has been dismissed by governments for decades.

But I am conflicted - is this large, direct action the right way to go about highlighting this important message?

The protesters will argue they have to do something to get this at the forefront of people’s mind, and point to the actions of the Suffragettes for example. Of course at the time the direct action of the Suffragettes was criticised and yet today they are remembered as heroes.

The problem is these protesters getting arrested at this stage, day 9, is pointless, and going to leave these young people with criminal records. They have achieved their goal in getting attention on this important cause - but they should want to keep winning the hearts and minds of the public. By continuing on into a second week, they will start to lose goodwill and risk losing everything achieved so far.

For real change the public need to be behind their campaign, and the best route remains through democracy and holding those elected to account.