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St Paul’s closes over #occupylsx: live updates


3:16 pm - October 21st 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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Updates now at the top

6:20pm Picture of an excellent little poster, captured by @HeardinLondon.

5:50pm The Daily Mail columnist Martin Samuel has just published a column telling St. Paul’s to stop being so greedy. ‘Protest? Not when it stops St Paul’s cash tills ringing

Yet just four working days into the protest outside and there is already talk of St Paul’s being closed. For safety reasons, apparently. Whose safety, God only knows. There have been no reports of injuries to visitors or anyone else.

The real damage would appear to have been done to the purveyors of a holy set lunch at £25.95 or a set of deeply religious cufflinks for £180. Naomi Colvin, speaking on behalf of the protesters, said that money might be raised to compensate the church for its losses, but she probably hadn’t studied a price list at the time.

Canon Fraser, while swathed in a cloak of piety, is in fact a frontman for an organisation up to its neck in free market economics. Like many in his position he just didn’t have any idea how it worked. Now he knows the bottom line: and so do we.

Ouch! And that too from the Daily Mail!

5:20pm Richard Murphy shows governors at St Paul’s who informed the Cathedral’s decision draw overwhelmingly from the City.

5:10pm Even commentators of the Telegraph, albeit hostile to #occupy, think St Paul’s decision to close is “wimpish”.

5:03pm @HeardinLondon is live-tweeting reactions from the #occupyLSX debate being held.

4:50pm Protesters at #occupyLSX currently holding a debate on what they should do. Noises so far seem to indicate they don’t want to leave.

4:50pm A video of the Dean’s statement has now been posted online.

#OccupyLSX have responded to St Paul’s statement. Updates below

—–

In a shocking development today, just ahead of their week long anniversary, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral announced that he was closing the doors because the #occupyLSX protests presented a fire and safety hazard.

In a statement posted to their website, the Dean said

There is something profound about protest being made and heard in front of this most holy place: a gathering together of those concerned about poverty and inequality facing the great Dome of this Cathedral Church.

You actually have to be here to witness it for yourself because the extent of feeling and protest is not easily translated via media in that sense. But it is about the practical and safety issues which this peaceful protest has raised which I need to address with you today.

It should be obvious to anyone approaching the Cathedral that the size of the camp and the consequent compliance issues which it inevitably raises, has increasingly put us in a difficult position.

He added that health and safety officers had warned that access to and from the Cathedral was seriously limited. Plus, the abundance of stoves, fires and different types of fuels on their doorstep was a “clear fire hazard”.

He called the decision to close St. Paul’s Cathedral “unprecedented in modern times”.

#occupyLSX today sent out a press release stating that Unite union’s Len McCluskey had offered his support to the protest.

They were also expecting a thousand protesters to join them tomorrow.

Rumours are swirling now that the police is planning to move against #occupyLSX tonight.

UPDATE:

OccupyLSX have published a statement in response expressing their disappointment at St Paul’s decision. They say:

Since the beginning of the occupation six days ago, OccupyLSX have tried hard to accommodate the Cathedral’s concerns in any way we can. Over the past 48 hours, we have completely re-organised the camp in response to feedback from the Fire Brigade and we have also accepted the presence of two large barriers to preserve access to the side door of the Cathedral.

Both of these measures were accepted by the General Assembly in order that the Cathedral’s normal operations should not be unduly impacted by our presence. This afternoon we have been told, in a telephone call, by the fire brigade, that they have not issued any new requirements above and beyond those already communicated directly to the camp. Therefore, there are no outstanding fire safety issues.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


This would be the church of England, headed by the queen (definitely not in the 99%) and part of the British state. Having made the standard comments on poverty and inequality, they know what to do when its time to pick a side.

The church are hypocrites as usual, but there are more important opponents to take on. Cant they try Paternoster square now the riot police aren’t there?

St. Paul’s is only following the example set by Jesus himself. Lest we forget, Jesus was more concerned with tourist money for his churches than social justice. Jesus himself invited all kinds of bankers into the temples. When he healed the sick, Jesus made sure to send an itemised bill to his patients. And we must never forget that Jesus once said “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a poor man to get into heaven.”

St. Paul’s is right – tourist money is far more crucial in this day and age than people who are fighting against corporate greed and fighting for jobs and equality.

/sarcasm

Ouch! And that too from the Daily Mail!

Even commentators of the Telegraph, albeit hostile to #occupy, think St Paul’s decision to close is “wimpish”.

Not to make too obvious a point, but St Paul’s did decided to close over ‘Elf n Safety. Which is a pet bugbear of Mail and Telegraph readers, for some unknown reason.

4. Leon Wolfson

Oh I’d be SO shocked if the gang otherwise known as the Police used violence against a peaceful protest. Again.

A completely useless and craven excuse by the people from St Pauls. But what’s the point of the occupation now anyway? Has it been attracting workers from the Square Mile? The cleaners, postmen, caterers and all the low paid backroom staff who keep the place running? I suspect it hasn’t, but I’m not there so I don’t really know.
Why not move over the river to the Elephant and Castle roundabout just a mile away?
Loads of space for all the tents, and plenty of people coming and going from the tube station and the bus stops to talk to.

These protests have had some scathing critics, which I have yet to be see answered to my satisfaction. Criticism is just ignored I’ve found.
And I don’t mean just by the usual right wing.
Here was someone asking about those infernal Guy Fawkes masks.

”This mask does not represent the actual content of contemporary protest. Rather it represents a yearning for content, a fantastical attempt to invent a purpose. By desperately trying to dramatise these protests, whether against bankers or corporations, as part of a struggle against some quasi-totalitarian state in hoc to Big Business, the Guy Fawkes mask symbolises recent protests’ complete lack of any real content. Protesters want to be what they are not. They want to be fighting a fantasy battle against the Big Bad Power Behind the Throne. In reality, they are fighting – or rather, camping out – for nothing in particular.”

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/11188/

It’s a fair comment in my opinion.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the cathedral’s complaints (I’m 300 miles away so can’t comment), the protesters are letting themselves get side-tracked here. Rather than fighting to stay in a place which isn’t where they originally intended to be anyway, they would be better off making a show of how reasonable they are and taking the opportunity to move to a location that allows more room for the camp to grow.

7. soosy swell member

The CofE are such an embarassment. No wonder attendances are falling.

Very true. Let’s see them slump outside the fetid shut pile I’d barbarity that is the South London(istan) Mosque.

Lazy ass/can afford not to work or do anything else it seems flies around a huge turd.

9. Manon ClaphamOmnibus

Time to send in the Feds to clear out the incendiarist leftie scum me thinks. I hope the State television will cover this event in a timely fashion as an example to us all.

Let’s all slow our pace, where are we going? We are 99%…Are we still ignorant?

http://gu-vangumedia.blogspot.com/2011/10/lets-all-slow-our-pace-where-are-we.html


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Ally Jedley

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  3. Tom Griffin

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  4. Penny

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  6. gre

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  7. Robert Frost

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  8. Double.Karma

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  9. bigmendy

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  10. pseudodeviant

    St Paul’s closes over #occupyLSX; police may move in | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/XVFPo0RJ via @libcon

  11. DPWF

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  12. sunny hundal

    Live updates on St Paul’s decision to close today on @libcon, until late evening http://t.co/EIZIhhzr

  13. Nemesis Republic

    Live updates on St Paul’s decision to close today on @libcon, until late evening http://t.co/EIZIhhzr

  14. Penny

    RT @crusader4animal: RT @libcon: St Paul's closes over #occupyLSX; police may move in http://t.co/Y7rXfEEw

  15. Laia Pacheco

    La catedral de San Pablo cierra sus puertas por el campamento de Occupy London. http://t.co/xEKy7Cqr Posible desalojo por la policía.

  16. eChurch Blog

    @appleeugene Oh, it was in response to this: http://t.co/Zsy6OxsD

  17. Lolinoss

    La catedral de San Pablo cierra sus puertas por el campamento de Occupy London. http://t.co/xEKy7Cqr Posible desalojo por la policía.

  18. Janet Graham

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  19. Black Triangle

    30 pieces of silver? Gold-man! St Paul’s closes over #occupylsx: live updates | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ouodRykT via @libcon

  20. St Paul’s Cathedral closes over #occupylsx | eChurch Blog

    […] website Liberal Conspiracy is running a live update in which they seem to insinuate that the Cathedral is lying over the […]

  21. revpaulca

    30 pieces of silver? Gold-man! St Paul’s closes over #occupylsx: live updates | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ouodRykT via @libcon

  22. pranksterpixie

    30 pieces of silver? Gold-man! St Paul’s closes over #occupylsx: live updates | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ouodRykT via @libcon

  23. Pirata Argentino

    La catedral de San Pablo cierra sus puertas por el campamento de Occupy London. http://t.co/xEKy7Cqr Posible desalojo por la policía.

  24. Empty heads and empty tents at St Paul’s Cathedral #oslx

    […] conspiracy theory was, however, immediately asserted as fact by Occupy London supporters, and St Pauls suddenly changed from being sympathetic supporters of […]





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