Two Just Stop Oil protesters who climbed over the Dartford Crossing bridge have been jailed.
Morgan Trowland, 40, of Islington, north London, and Marcus Decker, 34, of no fixed address, were suspended from the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge for about 37 hours in October.
The couple argued in court that it was a peaceful protest but were found guilty of causing public nuisance.
Trowland was jailed for three years and Decker for two years and seven months.
Judge Shane Collery KC said the pair “clearly believe you know better” than the others and are thinking “damn the others”.
“You must be punished for the chaos you have caused and for stopping others from copying you,” he said in sentencing them at Southend Crown Court.
The trial saw the defendants shrink the bridge’s cables around 04:00 BST on October 17 last year, reaching a height of about 200ft (60m).
Essex Police used a “very tall cherry picking crane” to bring the couple down at around 5:30pm the next day.
The bridge, which normally carries traffic south across the Thames on the A282 linking the M25 motorway between Essex and Kent, was reopened between 21:00 and 41 hours after the protests began.
Prosecutors said the closures caused “congestion for miles around” and brought nearly 565,000 drivers to a standstill.
Giving evidence, Trowland said: “We climbed there to put out a warning message – to hang a banner that said ‘Stop pouring oil’ and to speak to that message through interviews. with journalists.”
Essex Police claim small businesses have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds, with one business estimated to have lost up to £170,000 in income.
The force also included a severely pregnant woman in need of urgent medical help; a child with additional needs who can’t access medication and someone who missed his best friend’s funeral.
Ch Supt Simon Anslow, from Essex Police, described the campaigners’ actions as “juvenile and dangerous”.
Just Stop Oil claimed the protest was to protest the government’s new oil and gas license.
Rachel Bosler, a spokeswoman for the organization, said: “I’m absolutely appalled and disgusted by what happened here today, which is absolutely not justice.
“Our criminal government was found guilty of violating their own climate change laws in the Supreme Court and they face no penalty and no sentence.”
Trowland and Decker, who have been in custody since their arrest, were told on Friday that they would serve half of their detention terms.