Police told to move along as anti-bank protesters camp out at St Paul's
Occupy London protesters set for long haul outside cathedral as global action against financial institutions gains momentum
In their stand against mammon, protesters occupying St Paul's churchyard to vent anger at reckless bankers found heartwarming support emanating from the house of God.
Far from requesting that the 300-strong crowd be removed from the cathedral steps on Sunday , the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, canon chancellor of St Paul's, requested that the police themselves move on as the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest entered its second day.
A line of officers had taken up position at the top of the steps to "protect" the building. "Which was very good of them," explained the canon. But then he had asked them if they would leave, "because I didn't feel that it needed that sort of protection"
"I'm 40. Never been on a protest before. But I found myself here," said one man, who asked not to be named, from Sheffield. "I'm pretty middle of the road politically, so I wasn't sure about all the Socialist Workers placards at first. But this issue has attracted people from all walks of life. I'm a diehard atheist – there's a woman over there with a 'Jesus is Calling' placard. It's all of us."
For those of us frustrated by the melancholy mood that seems to have gripped the population in the face of the on-coming financial crash, the party conference season won’t have offered much hope. Although Labour’s Ed Miliband began groping toward an alternative to the free market orthodoxy of New Labour – his rather clunky designation of ‘predator’ companies – our three main parties remain chained to a globalisation agenda that is about to go off the edge of an abyss.
We need to change the balance in our economy to ensure that a greater percentage of profits are paid as wages to workers rather than as dividends for shareholders. Yes, investors should expect a return on their money, but since the power of the unions was broken in the 1980s, wages have been seen as little more than a hindrance to the profitability of the stock market. To increase demand, we need to put our economy on a different trajectory.
Will be interesting to see how the Police handle this.