Dialogue: Jim Wallis (left), visiting from the United States, speaks to a protester in front of St Paul’s ED THORNTON
This week’s ‘Church Times‘ (UK) features this interview with Jim Wallis (USA) Advisor to President Obama on the World Protest Movement, with the Protesters still camping around the area of London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
Other articles in C.T., tell of the Camp being used by drug-addicts and drifters, leaving in their wake a litter problem, including used syringes and condoms – a situation likely to prejudice the authorities against the continuing occupation.
However, a spokes-person for the Occupiers has suggested a programme of a planned movement between Cathedrals and public places – in order to draw more attention to the core objective of the round-the-world Protest movement. It is suggested that, to centre the activity around significant Church buildings would help to identify the need of the Church to be engaged in protest against the culture of monetarism that is exacerbating the problems of the growing gap between rich and poor. On the face of it, this argument by a section of the Protesters would seem to be relevant in this time of economic upheaval around the world.
There will always be those who exploit situations like this. And those who are causing problems of gratuitous littering and nuisance in the St. Paul’s encampment, could prejudice any agreement by Church authorities to comply with the legitimate request by authentic Protesters to co-operate with them in drawing attention to their cause.
In the meantime, the loss of revenue to the Saint Paul’s Institute, which manages the finances of the Cathedral, is likely to cause further problems with the administration of and public access to this iconic City of London Church.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand