Sunday, November 13, 2011

Occupy London camp outside St Paul's Cathedral

I have been over to the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp outside St Paul's a few times now.
The protest group was stopped from camping outside the London Stock Exchange by the police and so set up next to St Paul's Cathedral, which next to Paternoster Square where the Stock Exchange is.

Paternoster Square is like many new developments in London, a piece of private land, and concern to many photographers like myself who take street photography pictures. The square has remained closed by barriers and police eversince with only checked and vetted entry, which much be proving a real problem for the businesses there.

For St Paul's cathedral the protest camp proved to be a catalyst for serious thought and politicing, as three members of the clergy resigned at various points, the cathedral closed for several days and we learnt that their trustees numbered many financial leaders. Some might say the money lenders were not just in the church but had become a fundamental part of the churches organisation. A number of banners in the camp said " What would Jesus do ?" A pertinent question.
As the protesters didn't leave after the cathedral had closed it's doors, for that great catch all modern reason, health and safty concerns. The cathedral was forced to open again or look rather foolish and the camp was organised in a more permanent and sustainable manner.
The kitchen tent now has shelves to keep the food off the floor, and when I was there last week people were coming in with donations all the time.

It was great to see so many offers of generosity from the public, winter clothes, food and money while I was there. There's a cafe, legal help, information and education tents and more. Their weekly newspaper lists an impressive ammount of talks and workshops, for a great alternative perspective on society.

On the pillars around the camp artists have been at work with some very witty collage work and statements about society, the whole area a vibrant mix of cultures and strands in our modern day London.

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