A CLIMATE campaigner from Oxford has appeared in court after being arrested at mass protests in London.

Raga Woods, 78, stood before the bench at City of London Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

She was arrested at the Extinction Rebellion Spring Uprising in the capital in April, and the case was ongoing as the Mail went to print.

Ms Woods, who lives in South Oxford, spoke before the hearing of a 'looming environmental catastrophe'.

She said: “I feel deeply sad about our species - despite thinking we are intelligent, we are stupid and arrogant.

“We’ve been too clever at distracting ourselves from the world’s problems.”

The mother is among about 20 protesters due to appear at the same court this week, mainly charged with Section 14 public order offences.

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Prominent sites around London were occupied by masses of campaigners in April, causing widespread disruption around the city.

It preceded the even bigger occupation by the same group in early October, during which more than 1,800 people were arrested.

According to a source from the growing Extinction Rebellion group in Oxfordshire, at least 50 campaigners from the county were among them.

Police are yet to tell Wadham College associate professor Tom Sinclair if he will be charged, following his arrest at both the April and October protests in London.

The East Oxford resident was pictured getting detained by police, for blocking traffic outside St Paul’s Cathedral on October 14.

Explaining why he was willing to risk arrest, he told the Oxford Mail yesterday: “When I speak to fellow arrestees, there is a sense of desperation.

“Of course having a criminal record is scary, and that gets played down.

“Sitting in a road and getting arrested isn’t in my character at all, and the images of the protest tend to make it look pretty fun - but blocking people and making them angry, when it’s pouring with rain, is dismal.”

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However, he added: “The action that’s been taken on the part of the Government looks completely inadequate compared to the risks that scientific evidence has presented to us.

“Most of us [who protested] can’t see what else is going to make a difference.”

Many protesters are still waiting to hear if they will face court proceedings.

Ms Woods attended court wearing her distinctive flamboyant headdress.

She is no stranger to campaigning and in 1970 founded Gingerbread, a support network for young mothers that has since flourished into a national organisation.

In the 1980s she took part in the Women’s Peace Camp protests, against nuclear weapons being placed at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, and in the 1990s she was arrested for protesting at the M3 construction site near Winchester.

She has spoken to the Oxford Mail recently about the importance of an Oxford statue called the Sheela Na Gig, which celebrates fertility and the female body, and her campaign to give it a more prominent home in the city.

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Ms Woods said we need to ‘listen to the Earth itself to solve the climate crisis, adding: “It’s not about blaming or shaming - we must allow the planet’s energy to guide us in honouring the air, the mountains, the waters we all share.

“We can figure out what to change if we only listen to our inner selves, the planet and each other.”

She added that we should seek advice from ‘indigenous people who have the spiritual wisdom and firsthand experience of environmental degradation and destruction’.