UK & World News
Occupy Supporters In Protest At St Paul's
Four activists who chained themselves to the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral have avoided arrest by cutting themselves free with bolt-croppers and leaving the building.
The women from the Occupy London movement went in during an evening prayer service at around 10pm last night.
An Occupy spokesman said the protesters decided to cut themselves free after being warned by police that they faced arrest for trespassing.
The action came as the group marks the anniversary of its now-dismantled protest camp outside the cathedral.
Photos posted by the group on the internet showed the four women around the pulpit with a sign saying: "Throw the money changers out of the temple."
Other protesters unfurled a banner with a similar message outside the church.
The Dean of St Paul's, David Ison, said he was taking an evening prayer service when "four young women dressed in white" chained themselves to the structure.
"It will be a long cold night if they want to stay there," he said.
A statement read by the protesters and posted online by Occupy accused cathedral authorities of neglecting their Christian duty by siding with the rich and powerful.
"In the fight for economic justice, Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but you invited them in and instead evicted us," it said.
Protesters set up camp outside Christopher Wren's landmark cathedral on October 15 last year after they were stopped from demonstrating outside the nearby London Stock Exchange.
The church, caught in a conflict between the demonstrators and London's finance industry, changed its stance several times.
The camp was dismantled in February after the protesters lost a court battle with local authorities.