Better article on today's Occupy London eviction

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Feb 28 11:59:06 GMT 2012

St Paul's eviction a sad day, says clergyman who quit
Martha Linden , Diana Pilkington  -   Tuesday 28 February 2012
A former senior figure at St Paul's has attacked 
the eviction of anti-capitalist protesters from 
the steps of the cathedral as a “terrible” sight 
and a “sad day” for the Church of England.
Giles Fraser, who resigned as canon chancellor of 
St Paul's rather than see the protesters evicted 
by force, spoke of his dismay after seeing the 
camp cleared more than four months after the occupation began.
"Riot police clearing the steps of St Paul's 
Cathedral was a terrible sight. This is a sad day for the Church," he said.
Dr Fraser's remarks come after he tweeted that he 
was "really proud" of the way Occupy protesters 
had conducted themselves during the eviction.
According to the Occupy London website, Dr Fraser 
was prevented from crossing police lines to reach the site last night.
"Giles Fraser, who is so much a part of this 
story, was prevented from crossing the police 
lines to reach the Occupy London Stock Exchange 
site tonight," the website said.
"We would have liked to see him there."
Bailiffs and police arrived at the site early 
this morning, five days after Occupy London was 
refused permission by the Court of Appeal to 
challenge orders evicting protesters.
City of London Police said 20 people were 
arrested in the "largely peaceful" operation.
The City of London Corporation confirmed that the 
removal of tents and equipment outside St Paul's had been completed.
Stuart Fraser, policy chairman of the City of 
London Corporation, said: "It is regrettable that 
it had to come to the need for removal but the 
High Court judgment speaks for itself.
"The site has now been cleared and the area is undergoing a deep clean.
"Some areas of the site may be cordoned off 
during this cleaning but we will complete the 
work as quickly as possible, in order to return the site to its regular use."
The statement said High Court enforcement 
officers employed by the corporation had 
undertaken the removal with the support of the 
police to ensure public safety and maintain order.
"The City of London Corporation ensured any 
vulnerable people at the site were helped and 
supported to find appropriate accommodation in 
partnership with Broadway, a charity for the homeless," it said.
Granting orders for possession and injunctions 
against Occupy London at the High Court last 
month, Mr Justice Lindblom said the proposed 
action by the City of London Corporation - which 
it pledged not to enforce pending appeal - was 
"entirely lawful and justified", as well as necessary and proportionate.
The appeal judges, headed by Master of the Rolls 
Lord Neuberger, said the protesters had raised no arguable case.
The corporation called on campers to remove their tents voluntarily.
Although some remained on site when police 
arrived, many began dismantling the equipment before bailiffs moved in.
Gary Sherborne, 50, said: "We haven't got any 
choice and I'd rather protect the tent for 
another day without it being destroyed by the bailiffs."
Meanwhile, a group of protesters remained 
defiant, waving flags and banging tambourines on 
top of a makeshift wooden structure facing the cathedral.
The platform was eventually dismantled by 
bailiffs after police in riot gear surrounded it. 
Campaigners were also cleared from the steps of the cathedral.
An Occupy London spokesman said its School of 
Ideas in a disused school building in Islington, 
north London, had also been evicted.
Supporter Kai Wargalla, a 27-year-old student 
from Germany who has been camping at St Paul's 
since the occupation began on October 15, said: 
"It's really sad what's happening today but I 
think we can be proud of what we've achieved. Our 
community is being attacked here, but we're going 
to reconvene and come back stronger."
She said many of the campers from St Paul's 
planned to go to one of the group's other sites 
in Finsbury Square instead, and extra tents would 
be put up following the unexpected eviction from the School of Ideas.
Ms Wargalla was one of a number of trained "legal 
observers" who were monitoring the eviction 
process on behalf of the campaigners and reminding them of their rights.
Commenting on today's eviction, Ms Wargalla said: 
"We hadn't expected to be evicted from the 
cathedral steps because previously the church has 
said it would give us sanctuary when there's a violent eviction.
"There was also some really unnecessary tension 
and stress caused by the police when they told us 
we had five minutes to take our things from the camp."
She added: "It wasn't that violent today, but the 
violence we did see came from the police and the bailiffs."
The protest forced a week-long closure of the 
cathedral in late October, the first time it had 
been closed since the Second World War, after 
officials received a report by health and safety officials.
The cathedral, which has been the focal point for 
royal celebrations including Queen Victoria's 
Jubilee and the marriage of Lady Diana Spencer to 
the Prince of Wales on July 29 1981, is one of 
London's best-loved tourist attractions and draws 
between 2,000 and 3,000 worshippers each Sunday 
but costs £20,000 per day to run.
It also staged the funerals of Lord Nelson, the 
Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill, the 
peace services marking the end of the First and 
Second World Wars, and more recently the service 
of remembrance and commemoration for the September 11 terrorist attacks.
During the closure, Dr Fraser resigned, saying he 
feared the church was set on a course of action 
which could lead to protesters being moved by force.
The Dean of St Paul's also later resigned. The Rt 
Rev Graeme Knowles said it had been "a testing 
time" and mounting criticism made it 
"increasingly clear" that his position was "untenable".
Protesters have received support from 
high-profile figures including fashion designer 
Dame Vivienne Westwood and playwright Alan Bennett.
Occupy London spokesman George Barda, 36, who had 
been camped outside St Paul's for four-and-a-half 
months, said they heard at about 11.20pm that police were gathering nearby.
"Pretty much as the clock struck 12, we heard 
that they were on the move to us, so from my 
point of view, sitting in my tent as I got the 
news, it was a question of packing up as much of 
my stuff as I could and being ready for them arriving," he said.
He maintained the decision by the court was 
unjust, saying: "But the main thing was that it 
remained peaceful. We said publicly many times 
that this is a non-violent movement and it did remain peaceful.
"There were some arrests but only for resisting 
arrest and the main thing to focus on is the 
reasons we are here and not the drama of what happened last night.
"Millions of people are already suffering from 
the cuts and they have barely got going.
"And these cuts are entirely unnecessary, they're 
economically illiterate and there is money to pay 
for the things we need, it's just in the hands of the people at the top."
He said the eviction did not spell the end of the protest.
"The corporation made it very clear that they 
have nothing supposedly against protest, 
assembly, free speech in this area, just the 
tents and the bedding that have now been removed," he said.
"So we will very much be back to this space where 
people have been assembling for 800 years next year.
"What we are saying is very simple - there is 
money to pay for the things we need, we need to 
get it from those who can afford it.
"This isn't about a class war, it's about being 
sensible about what our society needs."

St Paul's Cathedral said in a statement: "In the 
past few months, we have all been made to 
re-examine important issues about social and 
economic justice and the role the cathedral can play.
"We regret the camp had to be removed by bailiffs 
but we are fully committed to continuing to 
promote these issues through our worship, teaching and Institute.
"The cathedral is open today and set aside for 
prayer and reflection. The cathedral is accessible to everyone.
"The area currently cordoned off is for essential repairs to damaged paving.
"Clergy are available throughout the day for pastoral care and support." 

+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend. 
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