St Paul’s Cathedral is being accused of colluding with the City of London corporation after police were given permission to remove protestors from the Cathedral steps.
Christians had gathered at St Pauls to offer prayer for the protestors who were evicted in the early hours of the morning.
But police moved in to remove them, with some believers claiming they were subject to rough handling by riot police.
The eviction took place in the early hours of this morning, with police and then bailiffs arriving en masse to forcibly clear the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp.
But although the official eviction order related only to land owned by the City of London Corporation, officers were also given permission by Church officials to remove people from the steps of the historic Cathedral.
Symon Hill, one of the Christianity Uncut organisers, said he was twice removed from the Cathedral steps, and threatened with arrest.
He said: “I am profoundly shocked at being dragged from my knees as I prayed on the steps of a church.
“The Cathedral Chapter and the Bishop of London have urgent questions to answer. Did they know when the eviction was due? Did they give permission to clear the steps and, if so, when and why?
“What image of Christianity are they trying to send out?”
A number of Christians from various denominational backgrounds had arrived on the scene prior to the eviction, following rumours that it would take place in the middle of the night.
As police and court officers moved in, several Christians knelt or stood in line at various parts of the camp as they prayed, sang and read the Bible.
Others who had signed up to pray were too late to get through the police cordon, and instead prayed on the outside of it. Other individuals who couldn’t get to central London prayed in their homes.
A large number of people, including many non-Christians, enthusiastically thanked those who were praying.
Siobhan Grimes, an Anglican living in London, was one of those removed from the steps. She said:
“Christianity is not about using violence against people seeking economic justice. It is not about protecting the most privileged. It’s about responding to the needs of the world around us with confidence, humility and courage. I chose to pray at the eviction because I think that’s what Jesus would have done.”
February 28th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross