To our kids, we advocate fighting for our rights and for our voices to be heard.

Many take affirmative action in their youth by waving placards at protests that are media friendly yet are issues that many don’t fully understand, or by donning an orange T-shirt and dousing some dye on an ashes wicket or a snooker table baize.

The easy targets are cricketer Jonny Bairstow or snooker player Joe Perry and not those we should really be slapping our copy of the Daily Mail down on the coffee table for: China, the US, Russia, and Japan.

To be effective, maybe Just Stop Oil should travel (by land if possible) to mainland China, who produce 30% of all global emissions, and throw some orange paint on the presdient Xi Jinping outside of his presidential palace, all for the press coverage which will likely be non-existent, before being carted off to the local gulag for a 25 stretch.

There is little, if any, bravery in their attacks on soft targets. No, real bravery when it comes to the protest is how committed you are and how much danger you place yourself in for the cause.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis says todays protesters should be braverBrett Ellis says todays protesters should be braver (Image: Brett Ellis)

Much derided all those years ago, Swampy was an eco-protester who, in place of holding placards reading ‘down with this sorft of thing!' in 1996, burrowed in Devon. He was protesting at the A30 extension (which I have to say is a joy on our frequent trips to Cornwall) and lived down a series of tunnels for seven days and nights before finally re-emerging.

As a peculiar footnote to Swampy’s rise to prominence, he was hauled in front of the local magistrate who, it turns out, was no other than future prime minister David Cameron’s mother.

So, from the great unwashed to the only real protestor who, in place of easy targets and protests, actively takes the road less travelled and challenges oppressors in their own back yard.

Usually operating as a one-man band as others talk the talk but don’t walk it, Peter Tatchell stands alone in the bravery stakes. Now aged 70, Peter most recently flew to Qatar to demonstrate against their anti-LGBT stance. He has tried, as you do, to perform a citizen’s arrest on Robert Mugabe (unsuccessfully which is of no surprise) as well as challenging Mike Tyson outside his gym in Memphis in 2002 over homophobic comments made.

You want our support and respect?

Then I suggest taking the Eurostar or ferry to Calais and then driving (an electric vehicle) the 6,435 miles to Beijing before protesting to the world’s biggest polluters. Only then will you court the public support and I for one, promise to send you a monthly food parcel as you hunker down to some inedible breakfast porridge in Qincheng prison.

  • Brett Ellis is a school teacher.