Christian groups plan to come out in support of the Occupy protesters at St Paul’s with a ring of prayer around the protesters in the event they are forcibly removed.
The protest has become increasingly fraught, mostly on the church’s side, as the Cathedral was closed then reopened and legal steps to remove the protesters started last week. The church’s astonishingly poor handling of the affair was underlined by the resignation of canon Giles Fraser. Cathedral chaplain the Reverend Fraser Dyerhas also stepped down in protest at the decisions made by the Dean.
Some groups have also accused the church of being guided by fiscal concerns rather than spiritual ones while another embarrassing revelation today highlighted the suppression of a report by the St Paul’s Institute which criticises bankers’ morals.
The Bishop of London and the Dean of St Paul’s will meet Occupy protesters on Sunday morning where it’s expected they will request again that the protesters leave. They now have the backing of Boris Johnson, who has added his voice to the church’s calls for Occupy to retreat.
The Occupy protesters could hardly have asked for better publicity for their protest. Attempts to discredit their staying power by thermal imaging have been rubbished and made the subject of a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), Liberty have offered to mediate between the opposing sides, Banksy popped down to donate some art (apparently now ‘vandalised’), senior church officials have effectively sided with them and a ring of praying Christian activists protecting them as the bailiffs wade in is pretty much guaranteed headline news. Not bad going for a protest with no real questions, let alone answers.
Occupy’s sense of humour appears undiminished though – a zombie bank run is planned for Monday 31st October.