Protesters have been camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral since Saturday 15th October. They are attempting to change the current financial system by occupying the London Stock Exchange (OSX). For the first 3 days of the protest I frequently watched the television and the internet to find out more about it. There was surprisingly little information on the subject of the protest. I went down there to see for myself. I found that many of the protesters were a bit put out by the lack of media coverage, expressing their thoughts that the mainstream media had boycotted their cause.
Towards the end of the first week of the protest suddenly the television news is really interested in the whole situation. First thoughts were ‘finally some coverage’, thoughts that lasted only a few seconds until realisation of the reason behind the sudden interest. Church officials have now decided to close the cathedral due to ‘health and safety’ reasons, and are now urging the protesters to leave. The BBC point out that this is the first time which St. Pauls has closed its doors since the WWII Blitz. This is a massive comparison to make. If a person failed to read between the lines of this powerful statement and had not heard much about the meaning of the occupation (which is very likely because of the previous media boycott), by association they would be comparing the protest to the bombing of England.
It is obvious through watching coverage on the BBC that they have a huge bias against the protestors. In an interview with a protestor named Peter one BBC reporter puts words into viewers’ mouths when he says ‘if it comes across to the public that your just irritating the good people of the church who are trying to do their business then your message is going to get very confused isn’t it’. He tells the protestor that there might be other places he can go. He is making the protestors look bad for choosing this holy place to protest their rights. However, the only reason why the occupation of St Paul’s cathedral has taken place is because the police forced them back from entering the London Stock Exchange. At various points during the interview Peter tries to raise the issues behind the reason for the protest, which the interviewer so obviously doesn’t want to address.
Now people are asking exactly why they have chosen to close the doors, which they say is losing the cathedral £16,000 in tourism a day. Some supporters of the protests facebook page are making connections between the closure and cathedral’s corporate partners which include; Lloyds Banking Group, Fidelity Investment Managers, CMS Cameron McKenna, London Stock Exchange, Sarasin & Partners, J.P. Morgan, Structure Tone, BGC Partners. These are all corporations which stand for principles that the protestors at OSX are protesting against. One of these principles is usury, a term for money lending for profit. The Bible warns against this practice.
At first the cannon chancellor of St Pauls, Reverend Fraser, had asked police to leave protesters alone outside St Pauls. Six days later the dean, Reverend Knowles, has asked them all to leave. He has stated that they cannot open their doors to visitors whilst the occupation goes on outside for health and safety reasons. He says that the decision has been made with a ‘heavy heart’. Protestors are still hoping to come to some sort of arrangement with the cathedral.