London Bishop Wants to Help Evicted Protestors Keep Their Voice

The bishop at St. Paul's Cathedral in London says his church is committed to helping Occupy Protestors keep their voice following an eviction notice on Wednesday from the High Court that orders the demonstrators to leave the church premises.

"Whatever now happens as a result of today's judgment, the protest has brought a number of vital themes to prominence. These are themes that the St Paul's Institute remains committed to exploring and, now through London Connection, we want to ensure they continue to have a voice," shared the Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres. "Bishops cannot have all the answers to what are complex economic problems. What we can do, however, is broker communications and make sure that a proper connection between finance and its ethical and moral context is found."

The occupy encampment was started on the grounds of the prominent church, which is owned by the City of London Corporation, in mid October and has now grown to about 200 tents. The growth of the encampment and ensuing police action eventually forced the cathedral to suspend its services.

Church officials have given encouragement to the demonstrators and, following yesterday's eviction ruling, former dean Rt. Rev. Graeme Knowles and ex-canon Dr. Giles Fraser, resigned in their own act of protest.

"The voice of protest needs continually to be heard. The church must not be seen to side with the 1% and against the 99%." Dr. Fraser told the BBC after calling the High Court decision "disappointing".

Lindblom said in the summary of his ruling: "The freedoms and rights of others, the interests of public health and public safety and the prevention of disorder and crime, and the need to protect the environment of this part of the City of London all demand the remedy which the court's orders will bring."

During the trial, occupy protesters mostly argued for freedom of expression and assembly, which are anchored in the European Convention on Human Rights, while the City of London stressed that those rights were being abused and that the blockage of public highways and St. Paul's Church were not necessary.

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