John Curran pictured outside the Arkwright building at Nottingham Trent University

A former Metropolitan Police officer who was arrested at an Extinction Rebellion protest has said he did it to protect his daughter’s future. 

John Curran, who now makes guitars for a living, was arrested by the same police force in which he was once a Detective Sergeant on Thursday, 10 October. 

 The 49-year-old Nottingham resident was arrested for gluing himself to the pavement at London City Airport in a demonstration against pollution by the air travel industry. 

He holds no grudge against the officers who arrested him, saying that Extinction Rebellion “is there to break the law” and that he is pleased they are arresting activists like him. 

He said: “I took an oath to protect the public and my actions are an extension of that.” 

Mr Curran’s biggest motivation for his actions is his three-year-old daughter Natasha. 

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned in 2018 of the ‘direct existential threat’ that climate breakdown poses, a warning not lost on John. 

Mr Curran said: “I spend my waking hours worrying if she’s safe, if she’s happy, if she’s okay at school. 

He added: “Now I wonder – will she face food shortages, or even the breakdown of society?” 

He is especially critical of the government, claiming that they have ignored the climate crisis. 

John said: “Societal collapse affects everyone, whether you’re a student, cleaner, banker or police officer.” 

In contrast, Mr Curran speaks fondly of Extinction Rebellion’s Nottingham branch. 

He said: “They’re amazingly committed people – normal people with normal lives.” 

John is keen to stress this normalcy, worrying that people may reject Extinction Rebellion’s message as they struggle to identify with ‘stereotypical tree-huggers’. 

He said: “I have nothing but respect for lifelong activists, but if we want Extinction Rebellion to become a mass movement, we must embrace people from conventional backgrounds.” 

In John’s opinion, it is now a question of “how to act rather than whether to act, else we face a devastating future”.