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Punk Prayer redux: Occupy London shows Pussy Riot 'solidarity' in St. Paul's altar-chaining stunt (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Published time: October 15, 2012 11:45
Edited time: October 18, 2012 02:32

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Four members of Occupy London chained themselves to the pulpit of St. Paul's Cathedral during evening services in a show of support for Russian punk band Pussy Riot, and to mark the one-year anniversary of Occupy London.

Four women dressed in white entered the cathedral during the evening prayer, chained themselves to the base of the pulpit and, while the choir sang, shouted accusations that the cathedral had conspired with banks and failed to help the poor by evicting Occupy London members from the cathedral’s premises last February.

Activist Alison Playford said, "In the fight for economic justice Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but you invited them in and instead evicted us," the Guardian reported.

“Your collusion with the City of London Corporation led to our violent eviction on your doorstep,” she said. “You testified against us which acted to uphold injustice and inequality that is growing by the day.”

Screenshot from RT video
Screenshot from RT video

Occupy London’s Twitter feed announced that the protest an act of solidarity with Pussy Riot. Three members of the Russian punk band were convicted to two years each in a medium-security prison for staging a performance of a profanity-laden ‘punk prayer’ in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

image from @OccupyLondon twitter
image from @OccupyLondon twitter

Band member Ekaterina Samutsevich’s sentence was later overturned after she asked for a new attorney, claiming her case had extenuating circumstances that were not being represented by the band’s defense lawyers – she was ejected from the church premises before engaging in the protest.

After the appeal hearing, Samutsevich was released with a two-year probation period.

The demonstration in St. Paul’s ended when the four women cut themselves free after police entered the cathedral and warned that they would be arrested for trespassing. Several demonstrators also gathered outside St. Paul’s carrying a banner with a message similar to the one the women expressed in the church.

Screenshot from RT video
Screenshot from RT video

St. Paul’s Cathedral issued a statement urging the Occupy movement to join the Church rather than turn against it: “We disagree with the way in which some protesters are continuing to pursue the agenda of conflict with St Paul’s, rather than consulting with us about how together we might better achieve the reforms which many people including Occupy are looking for,” church Dean Dr. David Ison said.

Occupy London, originally inspired by last September’s US Occupy Wall Street movement, began one year ago on October 15, when activists first erected 150-200 tents outside St. Paul’s to protest against corporate greed.

The camp lasted four months, until it was dismantled after the movement lost its legal battle against local authorities, forcing Occupiers to leave the premises.

Screenshot from RT video
Screenshot from RT video

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