Video and statements from the St Paul’s Four
At around 10.30pm last night, having been threatened with arrest by the City of London Police, the four female activists who chained themselves to the pulpit of St Paul’s Cathedral, cut their chains and declared their action a success. Their aim was to put pressure on the leadership of St Paul’s Cathedral to stop sitting on the fence and join the fight against rising inequality in the UK and beyond.
Outside the Cathedral they made the following statement:
They have also said the following:
Siobhan Grimes, an Anglican aged 25 who works for an environmental charity, said:
“I chained myself to the pulpit in St Paul’s Cathedral in protest about women’s economic inequality. As a Christian, I know that my faith teaches through the example of Christ’s radical action to protect the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
“I was dragged from the steps of St Paul’s while I was praying during the eviction of the Occupy camp in February 2012, and since then Christianity Uncut, of which I’m a member, has been refused a meeting with St Paul’s to discuss what happened.
“During the action, we managed to speak with the Dean of St Paul’s about Christianity and economic inequality, the questionable investments held by the Church of England and the unethical corporations that sponsor St Paul’s Cathedral, including Goldman Sachs.
“We have been offered a further meeting with the Dean to speak about economic justice and faith. I really hope this meeting happens.”
Alison Playford, an actor and writer aged 33, said:
“Jesus was the most radial activist in history. Everyone has the potential to demonstrate the same compassion, vision and radicalism as Christ. We cannot allow this appalling government to destroy this country through austerity measures. We need a redistribution of wealth, not cuts.
“All factions of society must step up to the plate, as we have called on St Paul’s to do. We can make true change. With courage and tenacity, with radicalism, we can change the world.”
Josie Reid, a Quaker aged 52 who uses a wheelchair after an accident left her disabled, and who previously worked as a nurse and in conservation, said:
“Most people can see the huge injustice of making sick, disabled and needy people pay for a financial crisis that is not of their making. We are told that these are desperate times. We are told about a great debt, and that austerity must be the order of the day. Governments have had higher debts before, but never before have they inflicted such pain on the people.
“These cruel austerity measures are being forced upon us, because our governments no longer act in the interests of the people, they do only the bidding of the money lenders. Whilst the salaries of the banking and corporate elites increase by 45% a year, ordinary people have to stomach pay freezes and cuts.
“Time is running out, we all need to take a stand against this monstrous banking and corporate machine which is trashing the economy, destroying communities, making people homeless, wrecking people lives, killing indigenous people, polluting and plundering the earth.
“Jesus spoke truth to power. Jesus turned over the money changers’ tables in the temple. Jesus took radical action. It is time we followed his lead.”
Tammy Samede, a Christian mother of four aged 33, who has worked with homeless people in the past, said:
“We are glad that the Dean of St Paul’s has agreed to meet again. When speaking with him, we asked him to really consider what would Jesus do during these times.
“We look forward to continuing this discussion, which we sincerely hope leads to concrete action, from focusing on the corporate sponsors and trustees of St Paul’s Cathedral, to the Church taking a more vocal and visible approach to the ethics and morality of the actions of the City of London and the financial sector.
“Faith without works is dead.”