Occupy London activists stage St. Paul's protest
Four women activists of the Occupy movement protest chained to the pulpit inside St Paul's Cathedral as preparations for evensong take place in London, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. (AP / Alastair Grant)
Published Sunday, October 14, 2012 2:37PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 14, 2012 5:11PM EDT
LONDON -- Several supporters of the anti-corporate Occupy movement chained themselves to the pulpit of St. Paul's Cathedral during a service on Sunday in an action marking the anniversary of its now-dismantled protest camp outside the London landmark.
The Dean of St. Paul's, David Ison, said he was taking an evening prayer service when "four young women dressed in white" chained themselves to the structure.
"It will be a long cold night if they want to stay there," he said.
Photos posted by the group on the Internet showed the women around the pulpit with a sign urging "throw the money changers out of the temple."
City of London police said officers were not trying to remove the demonstrators. Other protesters unfurled a banner with a similar message outside the church.
Protesters against capitalist excess and social inequality set up camp outside Christopher Wren's domed landmark on Oct. 15, 2011, after they were stopped from demonstrating outside the nearby London Stock Exchange.
The tent city embroiled the historic church in a conflict between bank-bashing demonstrators - inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street protesters - and the city's finance industry. Church authorities' position on the protesters shifted several times, and the cathedral's dean and a senior priest both resigned over the issue.
The camp was dismantled in February after the protesters lost a court battle with local authorities.
A statement read by the protesters and posted online by Occupy accused cathedral authorities of neglecting their Christian duty by siding with the rich and powerful.
"In the fight for economic justice, Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but you invited them in and instead evicted us," it said.