St Paul’s protest camp: Bishop calls for no violence
There is “no use for violent confrontation” with protesters outside St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bishop of London has said.
Dr Richard Chartres met demonstrators camped outside to discuss their views.
In an address, Dr Chartres told protesters, who fear forcible removal, he shared many of their concerns on corporate greed.
However, he added: “I do not think we are on the inevitable road to violence.”
Legal action to clear the camp is being taken but that process could take months to complete.
St Paul’s reopened on Friday after closing for a week, for the first time since WWII, because of health and safety concerns of cathedral authorities.
‘Benefit of the doubt’
Standing outside the cathedral, Dr Chartres said: “It is sometimes said in the newspapers that the church is a business. That is totally untrue.
“This church is the business of God.”
Referring to a banner on display at the protest camp, he continued: “If you have a notice saying, ‘What would Jesus do?’, that is a question for me as well.”
During an emotive exchange with protesters afterwards, he added: “The one thing I am concerned about is this should not lead to violence.”
But he stopped short of agreeing to protesters’ demands for a promise not to support eviction.
Lucy, one of the protesters, welcomed the speech but said they needed a promise from the church that they would not be forcibly removed.
“We need more of a guarantee that this is not going to happen,” she told BBC News.
“That means me being dragged out of my tent in the night, my hair being pulled – we need a cast iron guarantee from the church this will not happen.”
Asked whether the church was doing what Jesus would have done, she said: “I hope they will strive to do so.
“I give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Cathedral authorities are offering the protesters’ group, also known as Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX), the chance to hold a public debate in the church.
However, they want them to clear the camp before this takes place.
A number of Church of England figures have criticised the way in which the situation has been handled by St Paul’s authorities.
Their decision to begin the eviction process prompted Dr Giles Fraser to step down as canon chancellor, on Thursday.
It was Canon Fraser who told police to allow the protesters to set up camp outside the cathedral on 15 October after they had been prevented from camping by the London Stock Exchange in privately-owned Paternoster Square near St Paul’s.
Source: BBC News
“A number of Church of England figures” I would make an educated guess that this number is alsmost certainly made up of 1%ers.
The title does not refer to all Americans, so if umbrage was taken, I apologise. The title refers to the arseholes in power; corporations, companies, bankers, government, police, etc… you know who I’m talking about.
But Americans will never be gentleman in the English sense of the word. You only have to see how the OccupyLSX are being treated and compare it to their American counterparts to see that that is fact.
But American culture does not allow for such niceties, it used to once when the American Dream was alive, but the arseholes killed it and have no one to blame but themselves and the irony of the situation is the arseholes can’t see it.