Occupy activists stage protest inside St Paul’s Cathedral
Several supporters of the anti-corporate Occupy movement chained themselves to the pulpit of St. Paul’s Cathedral during a Sunday service in an action marking the anniversary of its now-dismantled protest camp outside the London landmark.
The Dean of St. Paul’s, David Ison, said he was taking an evening prayer service when four young women dressed in white chained themselves to the structure.
‘‘It will be a long, cold night if they want to stay there,’’ he said. “I’m just sorry they have decided to do this, which makes it hard for members of Occupy Faith, who have been working together with us on something which is respectful.”
The group unfurled a large banner reading “Throw the money changers out of the temple” on the cathedral steps. In a statement, Occupy London said they were working with Christianity Uncut, a group fighting against public spending cuts, to call for the famous church to “stop sitting on the fence and join the fight against rising inequality”.
One of the four women who chained themselves to the pulpit, charity worker Siobhan Grimes, 25, said she was unhappy that promised talks with the Dean had not materialised after last year’s protest.
Ms Grimes, a member of Christianity Uncut, said: “I think it is really important to speak up as Christians who believe in social justice and who believe in the aims of Occupy to say ‘this is part of my faith.'”
“We don’t have to be in conflict with the religious institutions because we believe in the teachings of Jesus.”
A spokesman for the protest group said the demonstrators were not planning to move. City of London police said officers are not trying to remove the demonstrators.