28/10/2011

St Paul's Launch Legal Action Over Camp

Officials at St Paul's Cathedral have on Friday announced they have begun legal proceeding against the Occupy London Stock Exchange Protestors.

In a statement from the Dean and Chapter, officials said they had previously asked the encampment to leave the cathedral precinct in peace and as this has not yet happened that legal action has "regrettably become necessary".

"The Chapter only takes this step with the greatest reluctance and remains committed to a peaceful solution. At each step of the legal process the Chapter will continue to entreat the protesters to agree to a peaceful solution and, if an injunction is granted, will then be able to discuss with the protesters how to reach this solution."

The Chapter said it both heard and shared the message of the protestors and looks forward to engaging with them to identify how the message may continue to be debated at St Paul’s and acted upon.

In recent days, the Cathedral's Chancellor, Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, resigned over "differences" on how St Paul's should deal with the issue. The Reverend had previously spoke out in favour of the protest saying a police presence was "unnecessary".

A spokesman from the Occupy movement in London said they were "deeply moved" to hear Reverend Fraser had resigned, "he is man of great personal integrity and our thoughts are with him", the spokesman said on Thursday.

"From the moment, Occupy London arrived at St. Paul’s Churchyard he respected our right to protest and defended it.

"For that we are very grateful, as he ensured that St Paul’s could be a sanctuary for us and that no violence could take place against peaceful protesters with a legitimate cause – challenging and tackling social and economic injustice in London, the UK and beyond."

Meanwhile, it has emerged on Friday that police were called to the camp after rumours spread that a firearm was being kept in one of the camps.

An Occupy spokesperson said: "Occupy London co-operated with the police to resolve the situation and we can confirm that no weapons were found anywhere within, or outside of the immediate area."

(DW)

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