'Occupy London' start camp in Finsbury Square


The BBC's John Brain says the protest outside St Paul's is costing the cathedral £16,000 a day in lost tourism revenue

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Anti-capitalist protesters have started a second camp in London - as a demonstration outside St Paul's Cathedral entered its seventh day.

About 30 tents have been put up in Finsbury Square in London's business district.

The move came as up to 300 protesters from Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) refused to leave the front of St Paul's.

The cathedral has been closed since Friday amid safety concerns.

Protester A protester lies in her tent in Finsbury Square

OccupyLSX said it had been working "to accommodate the cathedral's concerns".

The group says it is protesting against "corporate greed".

Although the cathedral was closed to tourists, a planned wedding did take place on Saturday.

Rather than using the cathedral's grand entrance, bride Natasha Ighodaro, an account manager for a PR company, entered through a side door.

The bride smiled broadly as she left the service, saying: "It's been amazing. There hasn't been any disruption at all - it's been wonderful, really amazing."

Meanwhile, some of her guests offered support to the activists.

John Giles, from Godalming in Surrey, said: "I think there are valuable comments being made and it seems to have been done in a peaceful way.

"They have a democratic right to protest."

A spokesman for the cathedral - which costs £20,000 per day to run and draws between 2,000 and 3,000 worshippers each Sunday - said it would lose about £16,000 in visitor donations for every day it is closed.

City of London Police said it would not comment on how many officers were attending the protest.

Bride at St Paul's Bride Natasha Ighodaro arrives for her wedding at St Paul's Cathedral

A police spokesman said "dynamic policing" was in place.

"We are communicating with protesters, the cathedral and local businesses to ensure sufficient policing response to facilitate peaceful protest," he said.

Senior staff at St Paul's Cathedral are continuing to meet City of London Corporation (CLC) officials over the decision to close to the public - for the first time since World War II .

One CLC member called on them to disband in a peaceful manner.

The action by the cathedral authorities and the Dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, follows appeals to the group whose numbers have grown during the week.

In a statement published on the cathedral's website, Dean Knowles said they were left with "no lawful alternative" but to close St Paul's.

The decision had been taken "with a heavy heart" but it was "simply not possible to fulfil our day to day obligations to worshippers, visitors and pilgrims in current circumstances".

"With so many stoves and fires and lots of different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard," the letter said.

OccupyLSX protesters said they had tried to answer such concerns, reorganising their camp "in response to feedback from the fire brigade".

The area around St Paul's Cathedral

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  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    What purpose is served by closing St Pauls Cathedral and keeping both worshippers and tourists out of it? It is an old building and one of London's main attractions so making them lose money from Tourists makes no sense. What has that go to do with Corporate greed? If you must 'occupy' somewhere, do it to the Corporations and Banks; this is just plain wrong by taking advantage of their good will.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    It's all very well protesters saying that the system has got to change but I have yet to hear any of them putting forward viable alternatives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    Most supporters of this movement are NOT anti-capitalist (BBC please note) but are against the unfair form of capitalism where the banks have been given gigantic amounts of public money to survive - necessitating cuts for the rest of us. If market forces (capitalism) had not been subverted then the greedy, incompetent banks would have fallen.
    the bankers got bailed out
    we got sold-out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    It is a shame that they choose to irritate St Paul's, who sound as though they support the ideals of the protest.

    Less seriously (perhaps!), there should be a full service of worship, on the steps, with a typically boring sermon and a collection. See how many are left after that...

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    They want everything to be equal. They want everyone to have everything, irrespective of how much effort you put in. It's been tried before and failed miserably. Some lead and end up at the top of the pile. It's humanity and you can't legislate against it. Getting you hands on the spoils of a few fat CEOs may make you feel better but it won't make a jot of difference.


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