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Old 10-20-2011, 12:37 PM
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Tyburn Tyburn is offline
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Default Saint Paul's Cathedral Refuses to Halt Occupy London Demonstration

There is a demonstration going on in the city of London involving protestors camping on Lundgate Hill in an attempt to corner the stock exchange. The London Stock Exchange lies between Saint Paul's Cathedral and The Old Baily Courthouse (what used to be New Gate Gaol)

So Paternoster Square and the Churchyard are full of tents.

Saint Pauls Cathedral says it will not be asking any demonstrators to leave its land and go home but is really concerned that it may have to close if the camp gets much bigger or fails to end its demonstration shortly

The Dean and Chapter released the following Statement

The Dean & Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral issued the following statement today (Wednesday 19thOctober):

‘St Paul’s Cathedral stated on Monday that it was still trying to provide worship and welcome to all in spite of the presence of the protest camp in the churchyard. St Paul’s asked everyone to respect this need and to acknowledge the risk to the life of the cathedral posed by the current situation.”

"The cathedral has managed so far to remain open on a reduced basis. The increased scale and nature of the protest camp is such that to act safely and responsibly the cathedral must now review the extent to which it can remain open for the many thousands coming this week as worshippers, visitors and in school parties. Is it now time for the protest camp to leave? The consequences of a decision to close St Paul’s cannot be taken lightly’.



St Paul's Cathedral has denied asking the protesters camped out on its piazza as part of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration to leave.


But the dean and chapter, the governing body of the cathedral, said that growing number of protesters were causing a disruption and concerns about health and safety.


The cathedral has had to close the restaurant and the gift shop and visitor numbers have fallen significantly since the camp was set up on Saturday, after the protesters tried and failed to occupy Paternoster Square, home of the London Stock Exchange.


St Paul's added that there were concerns that if the camp got any bigger it could become unsightly and block access for visitors. It said takings were down but denied reports they had fallen by 70%.


Officers from the London Fire Brigade have visited the site and have raised concerns about the proximity of the tents. There are around 210 tents at the site, but as many as 800-1000 people attend over the course of the day.


In a statement, St Paul's suggested that the protesters should consider the "risk to the life of the cathedral" posed by the encampment: "St Paul's cathedral stated on Monday that it was still trying to provide worship and welcome to all in spite of the presence of the protest camp in the churchyard.


"St Paul's asked everyone to respect this need and to acknowledge the risk to the life of the cathedral posed by the current situation.


"The cathedral has managed so far to remain open on a reduced basis. The increased scale and nature of the protest camp is such that to act safely and responsibly the cathedral must now review the extent to which it can remain open for the many thousands coming this week as worshippers, visitors and in school parties.


"Is it now time for the protest camp to leave? The consequences of a decision to close St Paul's cannot be taken lightly."


The cathedral has been supportive of the Occupy movement, with the canon chancellor, Giles Fraser, defending their right to protest. He said they were welcome to stay as long as they remained peaceful and asked the police to leave.


OccupyLSX said that there were no plans to move the camp to another location but they were working with the cathedral and fire inspectors about health and safety issues.


A working group has proposed expanding the camp to two or three other sites in London, while still maintaining the St Paul's site at the current tent level. The suggested alternatives include Hyde Park, Hoxton, Trafalgar Square, Imperial War Museum, Victoria Park and the eastern side of St Pauls – but at present the proposals have not been voted on.


A protesters' representative said: "We have a good relationship with St Paul's. We met with them today and we're actively working to address their concerns."


She added that they were planning to hold a fundraising event to try and make up the shortfall in the cathedral's takings.
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