EXTINCTION Rebellion protests highlighting the dangers of climate change and calling on Theresa May's government to declare a climate emergency are causing huge disruption in the capital.

And protesters from Southampton are taking key roles in the protests.

Christelle Blunden, a GP from Shirley is amongst the protesters who were superglued to a pink boat in Oxford Circus, which is symbolic of rising sea levels, a consequence of climate change.

The mother-of-two explained that she is deeply concerned about the planet that her children and other future generations will be left with if urgent action is not taken.

She said that like many protesters, she regrets having to take direct action of this nature.

"Civil disobedience is the last resort, but for 30 years people have been protesting, writing books about the danger of climate change and scientists have been speaking out about it, and we have made no progress with the changes that we need to see.

"We have 11 years to cut carbon emissions by 45 percent or we are going to experience runaway climate change, which will include things like food shortages within ten years," said the mother of a three- and a six-year old.

"I want a world left for my children to grow up in.

"Our government needs to declare a climate emergency and take action now."

She adds that family and friends have questioned some of the activities of Extinction Rebellion, such as smashing windows at the Shell Centre.

"Is smashing the windows of a fossil fuel giant violent, or is rendering the planet uninhabitable for future generations violent?" she said.

"We see a difference between violence to living things, and that includes our planet, and property."

She added that the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral has parallels with what is happening to our planet.

"People value it as a beautiful, iconic building and a part of history, but don't seem able to relate to valuing our living planet in the same way," she said.

"Our earth is literally burning. There are huge forest fires which are caused by and contribute to global warming.

" Climate activist Greta Thunberg told MEPs to panic as if your house is on fire, because it is. I hope people can relate what has happened to Notre Dame to our planet."

Devin Valentine, a director of The Art House vegetarian cafe and arts venue in Southampton has been involved in the protests and in coordinating people in Southampton to take part and updating the Extinction Rebellion Southampton Facebook page.

Part of his activism included playing in a samba band which marched from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus, via Piccadilly Circus.

He said that it was very regrettable that ordinary people's lives have been disrupted by the protests but that protest on this scale has become a necessity.

"We have a matter of years until we reach the point of no return with environmental disaster. We have left it too long already, really, but we are at a point where we have to do something before it really is too late.

"It's only by causing economic loss on a grand scale that corporations and governments will begin to do something.

"These protests are an act of desperation. It's clear that without disruption, we aren't going to be listened to."

He added that it is expected that a huge effort will be made to remove protestors today, ahead of the bank holiday weekend, but that the aim at the outset was for the protests to go on for two weeks.

"The intention is to carry on if there isn't a response from the government to Extinction Rebellion's demands, and so far, there hasn't been.

"Those demands are for the government to tell the truth and declare a climate emergency, to take action on that, and to make this beyond politics, by forming a people's assembly to spearhead changes related to becoming carbon neutral."

He added: "This isn't about targeting individuals and making them feel guilty about their choices. There are more of us (protestors) than the people who control the top companies, which are responsible for more than 70 percent of the world's pollution.

"We can make little changes in our lives but we are battling a global system when we do that, and those changes may not have a huge impact. But this is a way that, as individuals, we can do our part."