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Ear to the Ground

Occupy Movement Shuts Down St. Paul’s in London

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Posted on Oct 21, 2011
Wikimedia Commons / LoopZilla (CC-BY-SA)

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has been closed to visitors for the first time since World War II.

An encampment of protesters allied with the Occupy London Stock Exchange, or OccupyLSX, movement has already brought a major city institution to a temporary standstill, but it’s of a different sort, perhaps, from what protesters would ideally want to bring about.

Although OccupyLSX demonstrators encamped outside one of London’s most famous landmarks, St. Paul’s Cathedral, have been cooperating with building officials, the latter party decided to cancel services for Sunday and close the cathedral to the general public Friday, for reasons that protesters respectfully contested in a statement that day.  —KA

BBC:

It is the only the second time Sunday services have been cancelled - the other time was during World War II, when the cathedral was closed in 1941 for four days during the Blitz.

Last year the cathedral earned an average of £22,600 a day from commercial activities, which included income from 820,000 paying visitors.

A statement from the protesters said: “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.

“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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By heterochromatic, October 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

the church has been supportive and it also sounds like the protesters aren’t really
happy that they’ve put the church in a bad spot. they might try to work this out

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By gerard, October 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Sounds like the Church is more than a little supportive.  Love the Jesus-Man’s sign:  “I threw out the money-lenders for a reason!”

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By heterochromatic, October 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Ana, they weren’t actually FORCED to close, that’s true.  Church activities were
severely disrupted by the protestor’s occupation of the cathedral grounds.

the church officials thought it best to close…...


——-“Dean Knowles read out a statement saying that,  after a meeting last
night with members of the Chapter and a report received today from the
Cathedral’s “independent health, safety, and fire officers”, he had written an
“open letter to the protesters … advising them that we have no lawful
alternative but to close St Paul’s Cathedral until further notice.

“The health, safety, and fire officers have pointed out that access to and from
the Cathedral is seriously limited. With so many stoves and fires and lots of
different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard. Then there is the
public health aspect which speaks for itself. The dangers relate not just to
Cathedral staff and visitors but are a potential hazard to those encamped
themselves.”———


http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=119424

interesting article, and other good coverage at the linked site.

overall, quite sympathetic

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

It’s still incorrect.  The cathedral wasn’t ‘forced to close’.  I guess this is more calumny, although it’s a bit more subtle than the usual stuff we’ve been seeing.

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By heterochromatic, October 22, 2011 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Ana—-the headline doesn’t differ much from the BBC header:

“Occupy London: Demo forces St Paul’s Cathedral to close”

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 22, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Going by the story below it, the headline is incorrect.  Who wrote it?

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By A., October 22, 2011 at 4:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can’t load your website from Google…Also have your website as a gadget on my homepage and that doesn’t load either. Only way I can get you is through twitter…censorship!?!????

HELP!

A.

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