St. Paul's Clergyman Quits in Occupy London Mess

Plus: City tells protesters to vacate St. Paul's
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2011 9:57 AM CDT
A protestor dressed as a zombie walks past tents outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – Occupy London is turning into a big mess: Another senior clergyman resigned yesterday over the controversy surrounding protesters at St. Paul's Cathedral. Graeme Knowles, dean of the cathedral, said that in the face of rising criticism over the church’s response, his position “was becoming untenable.” St. Paul’s, which became the protesters’ base on Oct. 15 after they were unable to occupy the London Stock Exchange, has been criticized for its hard line against the demonstration, the Los Angeles Times reports. In the wake of Knowles' resignation, however, the church announced that it would abandon plans to boot the Occupiers.

Though church leaders have professed to sharing many of the protesters’ concerns, they had continued to ask the Occupiers to leave, and even closed the cathedral for four days. A high-profile cleric and part-time chaplain has also already stepped down. In his resignation statement, Knowles said that the issues facing the church “appear to be … insurmountable." The city of London today ordered protesters to vacate the site within 48 hours or face eviction, the Telegraph reports, but the Occupiers will likely appeal in court for the right to remain.

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