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Anti-capitalists stand their ground at two London sites

posted 23 Oct 2011, 09:28 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 23 Oct 2011, 09:28 ]

Occupy London campaigner says they are seeking a more direct way to be heard with protesters now occupying two London sites, as St Paul Cathedral cancels its Sunday service.

ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 23, 2011) ITN - London's landmark St Paul's Cathedral closed its doors to thousands of Sunday worshippers on Oct. 23, because of hazards posed by anti-capitalist protesters taking part in the Occupy London campaign outside the historic building.

Protesters insist they are prepared to spend months camped out at St Paul's Cathedral.

The protests, which on Saturday (October 22) spread to a second campsite in London's financial district at Finsbury Square, are one of a number across Europe which draw their inspiration from similar demonstrations in New York, which criticise financial systems and call for a more equal distribution of wealth.

One protester said a political vacuum in the country had forced people to make their voices heard more directly.

"There is a political vacuum in the country at the moment. Doesn't matter who you vote for, doesn't matter what party gets in the essential decisions that are made and what is decided really is the same," he said.

"When you are in a situation where your voice has been taken away, you have to make your voice heard in a more direct way," the protester added.

The new camp is at Finsbury Square, one of the few green open spaces in the crowded financial district. Protesters pitched their tents outside the cathedral after police blocked their attempts to occupy the square next to the London Stock Exchange last weekend.

Church authorities closed the 17th-century cathedral to visitors on Friday for the first time since World War Two, saying camping stoves posed a fire risk and the tents limited access to the building.

Protesters said the closure was unnecessary, Occupy London reaffirmed it would act accordingly with fire authorities and has made efforts to clarify health and safety concerns raised.

Around 300 people have moved to the new site, which is less than a mile from St Paul's.