Protesters of corporate greed and anti-austerity demonstrators comprising the Occupy London movement have set up a second campsite in London’s financial district.
The move to Finsbury Square, a rare green space in the financial district, was necessary because their first encampment at St. Paul’s Cathedral forced the church to close.
Sentiment among protesters was that the Occupy London movement wanted to be good neighbours to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Though police had stopped their original attempts to “occupy” the square outside of the London Stock Exchange, St. Paul’s had allowed the protesters to camp on its site.
Church authorities closed the cathedral on Friday because the camping stoves posed too much of a risk and the growing number of tents was blocking access to the building.
Friday’s closure was St. Paul’s first since World War II.
Despite being closed to guests, the world famous cathedral went ahead with a wedding that was scheduled. Some guests in attendance expressed sympathy with the protesters, and the bride was reported to have been happy with the lack of disruption.
Protesters say that the opening of the new campsite at Finsbury Square would ease the traffic at the St. Paul’s site.
It is estimated that around 200 to 300 people have joined the second camp, and both sites are expected to stay for an indefinite amount of time.
The Occupy London movement is one of many across Europe and the rest of the world, and is inspired by the demonstration efforts by New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement.
The general consensus across movements is distrust for corporate finance, with many calling for a fairer distribution of wealth.
British protesters also say that they are protesting the government’s austerity measures, tax hikes, and public health reforms to the NHS. A great many others are concerned with tuition fee rises in higher education.