OccupyLondon members evicted from St Paul's memorial services

OccupyLondon protesters who attempted to attend services at St Paul's cathedral on Memorial Day were ejected by private security forces who told them they were not welcome at St Paul's as there was royalty in attendance and "other churches will have you lot." Church officials expressed dismay at the news and have vowed to investigate.

"Some St Paul's workers and men in pinstripe suits and ear microphones came over and asked what we were doing. Jim wanted to talk to Canon Michael [Colclough]. I told them I wasn't there as a protester. I took off all my badges. I told them I had come as a member of the public."

She said: "They told me I couldn't be there because I was a member of Occupy London. They couldn't have protesters there. I said I had dead to mourn, and they replied they had royalty in the cathedral."

The 33-year-old, who is Christian, said she approached cathedral staff to ask for help. "What they said is that other churches will have you lot. I'm always in and out of the cathedral. I'm terribly distressed – they are ripping my faith away from me.

Occupy London protesters say they were asked to leave St Paul's services


  1. All other considerations aside, why would the security people tell them that there was royalty there?  Are they using the Queen as bait?

    1. Doesn’t have to be the Queen. Could’ve been whoever had that Gods Aweful hat in the wedding.

      Nevermind. I could understand the security position if there was an active attempt by Occupy to try co-opting services as their own personal pulpit, but if they were going as just plain ol churchgoers wanting to attend services….*sigh*What gives guys? 

      1. I could understand the security position if there was an active attempt by Occupy to try co-opting services as their own personal pulpit, but if they were going as just plain ol churchgoers wanting to attend services…

        How could the security folks tell the difference beforehand?

        Of all the “somebody done treated the Occupy folks poorly” stories I’ve read over the last few weeks, this one bothers me the least.

        Nearly all protest is a rude pain in the ass if it’s to be effective to any degree at drawing attention.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  It’s just the way the world works and I accept it.

        But I’m trying to figure how I would handle this.  If someone has camped out on my lawn with signs and badges for the last few weeks, trampling the grass, making the neighbors feel vaguely threatened, and generally sticking out like a sore thumb, I might not mind too much.  That’s especially true if I was basically in agreement with the points they were trying to make.

        But if I then went ahead with an open house that I had planned since long before they ever showed up, I might pause and reconsider.  Even if they took off their badges, put away their signs, and promised to be nice, I might well deny them entry.  I might be tempted to say “You all have been a PITA on the lawn for a long time.  I’ll tolerate that but pardon me if I don’t allow you inside, thank you very much.”

        Of all the unreasonable (often infuriating and appalling) responses to Occupy that have been highlighted on BB, this one seems the most reasonable.

        1. You seem to be missing the fact that this isn’t someone’s lawn, but a church.

          I’m not Christian, not even raised as one- but even I get that there are religious implications to refusing Occupiers entry.

    2. My impression was that the presence of royals at St. Pauls on Memorial Day would be utterly expected(possibly even explicitly announced somewhere), so that the suit’s comment was more of a “What part of this event looks like little people day to you?” type thing, emphasizing that The Quality where here, rather than divulging any terribly interesting information.

  2. I think you may want to change the title.  My first thought when I read it was that these people were crashing funerals.

  3. Has anyone noticed a pattern to the end of each Occupy media article? I read some articles about police wading in to the protestors, waving batons, throwing tear gas, and then the article ends with a note about how “the protest turned violent.” No, the police turned violent.

    This article does the same thing. It says that the church had no intention of keeping Occupy members out, and that it must have been zealous private security guards keeping Occupiers out, and one of the church canons came out to apologize. And how does the article end? “The incidents could represent a setback in relations between the cathedral and the protesters.” No, it was a third party getting in the way of good relations.

    It’s as if the body of the article is written by one person, and then someone else who wants to put Occupy in a bad light writes the final lines.

  4. Well gee…look at the sort of money held by major sects of Christianity. Which percent do YOU think they represent?

  5. “You lot.” Sigh. I know we haven’t dismantled classes and overlords in the US, but maybe a good first step for the UK would be to make a clean break with monarchy, even if they are only figureheads at this point. (And it doesn’t seem like they are: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/30/prince-charles-offered-veto-legislation

  6. Church officials expressed dismay at the news and have vowed to investigate. But that’s the last you lot will hear of it.

    1. > If your faith can be ripped away because of something like this, you had no faith to begin with.

      And nothing of value was lost…

      1. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to ponder where your faith lies: with the message itself, or with the organization that formed around it. It’s easy to get the two confused.

        I think it’s perfectly possible to have faith without being part of an organized church. I also think it’s possible to have a church without faith, when the message behind it is lost in sophistry, political manouvering  and over-rigid adherence to dogma.

        As far as the value in faith– it can create a sense of community, transmit social mores, and provide a kind of comfort in a crazy world. Sure, all this can be fostered by other methods, but for some people, it’s found in faith.  And I can only imagine how it must hurt to suddenly be told, you’re not worthy enough to stay in a cathedral– a place of community– that you’ve been part of for years.  I can understand how that could challenge someone’s belief system.

        I’m not trying to argue pro-faith or anti-faith, just calling it as I see it.

  7. Nothing says irony like the state barring you from honoring the soldiers who died keeping you free from oppression.

  8. At least that noisy unemployed carpenter who hangs out with the the poor  and unpopular and knocks over the moneychangers tables hasn’t shown up again. Yet!

    to quote Mathew 23:13-14

    But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut
    up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in
    yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
    devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore
    ye shall receive the greater damnation.

    to quote Mathew 6:5-6
    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:
    for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of
    the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They
    have their reward.
    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut
    thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which
    seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

  9. What did they think would happen? American Boing Boing readers may need an explanation that the High Church of England is the STATE church, of which St. Pauls is the leading cathedral. This institution is the chief religious organ of the establishment.

    Occupy protestors may – in this case – be wanting their cake and to eat it.

    And as to those who keep quoting ‘what would Jesus do?’ – do you really think that ‘The Church’ has anything to do with the teachings of Christ? ‘The Church’ as an establishment is the spiritual controlling arm of the state and always has been.

    The fact is that in Britain the vast majority of the population are unmoved by the Occupy phenomenon – and in teh case of St. Pauls are more concerned that teh protestors are making one of teh capital’s major tourist spot UNTIDY!

    (You may conclude from my words I am against the Occupy movement – I am not. I am just pointing out the prevailing mood here in the UK. It is very depressing.)

    1. …the High Church of England is the STATE church, of which St. Pauls is the leading cathedral…Occupy protestors may – in this case – be wanting their cake and to eat it.

      That seems like a bizarre juxtaposition of statements.  If it’s the state church, aren’t the Occupiers, as taxpayers, shareholders?

  10. “they are ripping my faith away from me.”

    For some reason I read that in the “leave Britney alone” voice. If they have to fish for sympathy so blatantly, and so pathetically, maybe there wasn’t much to the incident to start with.

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