LONDON (RNS) London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral reopened its doors to visitors Friday (Oct. 28) for the first time in a week, as authorities moved to evict hundreds of camped-out protesters.
The church and the London entity that governs the area will ask a court to force the removal of 200 or so Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters, who have demonstrated at St. Paul’s since Oct. 15.
One church official, the Rev. Giles Fraser, resigned over the decision to evict the protesters. “The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence,” he said.
As demonstrators built a tent city on St. Paul’s doorsteps, the cathedral decided last week to close its doors for the first time since Germany’s bombing of London in 1940.
As St. Paul’s reopened, its dean, the Rev. Graeme Knowles, said “the Church has asked them to go, the archbishop has asked them to go, everybody has asked them to go and they are not going, so I am not sure what more we can do to ask them to move.”
Ronan McNern, a spokesman for the Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters, told the BBC that they have asked for dialogue with city officials, to no avail.