Occupy activists stage St Paul's protest

LONDON: Four demonstrators from the anti-capitalist Occupy movement on Sunday chained themselves to the pulpit in London's St Paul's cathedral, a year on from the group's protest camp outside the famous church.

David Ison, Dean of St Paul's, said "four young women dressed in white" made their move during his evening prayer.

Cathedral staff told police they were happy to allow the protest but officers remained outside the building to monitor a separate demonstration by Occupy activists.

This group unfurled a large banner reading "throw the money changers out of the temple" on the cathedral steps.

A spokesman for the protest group -- which set up a now-dismantled camp outside the cathedral on October 15 last year -- said the demonstrators were not planning to move.

Occupy London in a statement said they were working with Christianity Uncut, a group fighting against public spending cuts, to call for the famous church to "stop sitting on the fence and join the fight against rising inequality."

The dean said he and a member of Occupy Faith, the group's religious wing, were leading a prayer when the protest began.

"It will be a long cold night if they want to stay there," he said.

"I'm just sorry they have decided to do this, which makes it hard for members of Occupy Faith, who have been working together with us on something which is respectful."

Police tore down the protest camp in February, arresting 20 people.

The church has been torn between those who oppose the camp and those who believe it should support demonstrations against London's finance industry.





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