For the Church of England to Oppose Forced Eviction from St Paul's sign now

The tents occupying the land in front of St Paul's cathedral in London has brought much-needed attention to the role the City has played in bringing about this ongoing financial crisis. Considering how much the 'average' person in the UK will suffer in cuts to services, drops in pay after inflation and pensions, we have seen very little protest in Britain. The debts run up by the large financial institutions were not largely caused by bad investments in companies and infrastructure projects (areas of the economy which create jobs), it was speculation in 'derivatives' that went wrong.

These are specialised financial paper products that add little value to the real economy, i.e. trains, jobs, road, provision of energy. Largely they are bought and sold by financiers with the aim of making short-term cash. The upshot is a massive drop in the standard of living for all parts of society other than, probably, the very rich, who are of course exactly those who work in the City or rely on its institutions to protect their wealth.

The occupation outside St Paul's is a chance for the Church of England to add a calm, moral tone to the handling of the financial crisis. Considering how much we are all going to pay, our elected politicians have focussed the debate massively disproportionately on how to uphold the current system rather than how to make those who caused the crash reimburse the rest of us. The Corporation of London, the Local Authority of the City, clearly rely on these financial institutions for their wealth. But the Church should not be pushed around and certainly should not be sanctioning (for the Church will have to say 'yes') the violent eviction of under-heard group arguing for greater equality, humanity and respect for all groups in society.

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