St Paul’s in London is being occupied by protesters as part of a wave of demonstrations against the global financial system.
Protestors look set for the long haul at St Paul’s after the Canon Chancellor of the cathedral told police to leave, and instead asked the protesters to join his Sunday morning service.
“It’s official we are occupying st pauls! The vicar has given his blessing and asked the police to move,” tweeted Occupy the London Stock Exchange (@OccupyLSX).
Calling for the government to see “sense”, demonstrators gathered in front of the cathedral after the area around the nearby London Stock Exchange was closed off following a High Court injunction.
Imitating the Occupy Wall Street protest, which began in New York last month, St Paul’s protesters appear highly organised and have set up Portaloos, a generator, more than 75 tents and a media centre.
Yesterday Rev Dr Giles Fraser of St Paul’s, London, said: “The police were trying to protect the building for us which was very good of them. I asked them if they’d leave because I didn’t feel it needed that sort of protection.
“They didn’t do any damage and church went off as normal this morning. It has all been very peaceful.
“I am very much in favour of people’s right to protest peacefully. We have only seen good-natured protesters and police doing their job.”
London’s ‘occupy’ protest was one of about 20 actions that took place over the UK this weekend. A spokesman said the demonstration was to “challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled our economy”.
Scotland Yard said there had been “no notable incidents of disorder”, and a total of eight people had been arrested, mainly for public order offences.
Today, around 300 protestors continue their occupation of St Paul’s. The group has said it plans to remain there until Christmas.