Occupy London has responded to the Bishop of London’s ‘ultimatum’ to “pack up your tents” and “join the Dean and Chapter in organising a St Paul’s Institute debate on the real issues here under the Dome.”
The grassroots protest movement, camped in the precincts of St Paul's Cathedral, says it "very much agrees" with the Rt Rev Richard Chartres that the cathedral needs to “recapture the serious issues”.
To that end it has already arranged an event that he, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s and others "are welcome to attend", declared OLSE today (28 October 2011).
"This is our 'Sermon on the Steps' event that will take place at 3pm Saturday 29th October at St. Paul’s, which thankfully means the bishop won’t have to travel far - having not to date engaged on a person to person level with his peaceful and friendly occupying neighbours," said a news release from the occupiers.
The event will involve people of different faiths, beliefs and none coming together to look at what they all have in common and the aims of the Occupy protest to bring about real social and economic justice for every single person in society.
The campaigners told the bishop: "Rather than inviting us to a debate on Sunday, why not come to this already organised event? Rather than inviting Occupy London and its supporters to 'a panel from across the political and business spectrum … [to which you] … invite the protesters to be represented' we urge you come and meet some people in a non-hierarchical forum – where no one person’s view is privileged over another’s."
A wide variety of faith groups and individuals, including members of different Christian churches, Catholic Workers, Pax Christi, Church of England clergy, Jewish groups, Hare Krishnas, atheists, humanists and ministers from Free Church and non-denominational churches have already expressed a desire to participate.
Occupy London also said that "while the Bishop and Dean’s offer of a ‘debate’ is laudable, we would ask that they allow us to focus on the real issues of injustice caused by corporate greed, rather than threatening us with legal action, which is distracting us and others from more urgent and fundamental concerns."
* More about Occupy: http://occupylsx.org/