St Paul’s protesters win pause in expulsion plans

Tim Wallace
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LEGAL action to remove anti-capitalist protesters from the area surrounding St Paul’s Cathedral was put on hold yesterday after discussions led to renewed cooperation between the church, the City and protesters.

St Paul’s announced it wanted to “engage directly with both the protesters and the moral and social issues they wish to address, without the threat of forcible eviction hanging over both the camp and the church.”

Archbishop Rowan Williams (pictured right) warned that the row over the location of the protests means “we are at risk of forgetting the substantive questions that prompted the protest.”

Writing in the Financial Times, he said “many people are frustrated at what they see as the disastrous effects of global capitalism” and it is time “we tried to be more specific” about the protest’s “vague” aims.

The City of London Corporation followed the cathedral and suspended its legal action affecting the highways until around lunchtime today.

“We want to leave more space for a resolution of this difficult issue, while not backing away from our responsibilities as a highway authority,” said policy chairman Stuart Fraser.

Protesters welcomed the move, adding they were looking forward to discussing “political, ecumenical and logistical issues”.