Lessons from the Occupy eviction

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Commenting in the immediacy of the forcible eviction of the Occupy camp at St Paul's Cathedral in London, Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, said:

"This is a very sad day. The Occupy camp at St Paul's has been a powerful symbol of the need for concentrations of power to be made accountable, devolved, redistributed and just. Now corporate interests are evicting those who have disturbed their 'business as usual'.

"But the imaginative work of the Bank of Ideas and the social, economic and educational alternatives that have flourished as part of OLSX will undoubtedly find new ways forward and fresh foci.

"Many people will be puzzled and disappointed that the Chapter at St Paul's declined repeated requests to oppose forcible eviction of the Occupy camp, apparently siding behind the scenes with the Corporation of London.

"As the eviction takes place, it is to be hoped that the Cathedral recalls its historic Christian duty to be a site of refuge for those fleeing violence and injustice.

"Meanwhile, the Ring of Prayer, as a symbol of both resistance and nonviolence, will perhaps be seen as performing the kind of function that institutional religion cannot do, charting a different path for Christian conscience. Long after tonight, the lessons and further opportunities of these developments deserve to be reflected and acted upon."