Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cleric Resigns Amid Occupy London Crackdown by British Government

Cleric resigns amid Occupy London Crackdown

By Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY

The canon chancellor of St. Paul's Cathedral in London has resigned because he could not take the thought of potential violence to control the protesters of Occupy London Stock Exchange who have camped in front of the historic church, The Guardian is reporting.

Giles Fraser, seen standing on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral, made his resignation announcement via Twitter.CAPTIONBy Alex Diaz, APGiles Fraser made his announcement via Twitter, writing, "It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St. Paul's Cathedral."

Police are preparing to take action against the protesters whose tents first went up 13 days ago, the Guardian reports.

Organizers of the protest, which encompasses hundreds of tents, say they have no intention of moving from the neighborhood, which also includes London's financial center. They say this in spite of repeated requests from the cathedral, the bishop of London, the mayor and other officials, according to the Guardian.

Officials have cited health and safety reasons. Though St. Paul's was closed to the public after the protesters set up shop, it will reopen on Friday after what the news organization calls an "amicable reshuffle of tents."

"St. Paul was a tentmaker," Fraser tells the Guardian. "If you looked around and tried to recreate where Jesus would be born, for me, I could imagine Jesus being born in the camp."

He adds, "It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent. The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence."

Word surfaced Wednesday that Fraser was threatening to resign over the Occupy London developments.

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