‘Occupy’ Protesters Force St. Paul’s Cathedral to Close

Oct 23, 2011 2:22pm

 

gty wall street protest london jt 111023 wblog Occupy Protesters Force St. Pauls Cathedral to Close

(BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

St. Paul’s Cathedral is losing a significant chunk of money each day after shutting down due to health and safety concerns posed by Occupy London protesters, who have set up a tent city on the lawn on the famous landmark.

An estimated 1.9 million people visit the cathedral each year, bringing in approximately $25,000 in revenue per day, according to The Guardian.

The cathedral receives very little funding from the state and relies heavily on ticket revenue.

Graeme Knowles, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, pleaded with protesters to leave the grounds of the landmark, which is a huge draw to tourists from around the world.

“I am asking the protestors to recognize the huge issues facing us at this time and asking them to leave the vicinity of the building so that the Cathedral can re-open as soon as possible,” he said in an open letter posted on the St. Paul’s website.

But demonstrators said Sunday that they’re in it for the long haul. Some said they expected to continue their demonstration through Christmas, while others said they hoped to stay outside the cathedral until the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“I’ll be here next summer if that’s what it takes to change the system,” protester David Harris, 36, told The Guardian.

This is the first time St. Paul’s Cathedral has been closed since World War II.

ABCNews.com’s calls to Occupy London were not immediately returned, but a statement on the group’s site said they were committed to working with St. Paul’s to rectify any concerns.

“Our intention was to highlight the iniquities of the global economic crisis, in a peaceful manner, especially as the Cathedral has been so hospitable,” the group wrote.

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