After the demos, the sit-in begins – in London and beyond

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

It was a chilly night on the pavements around St Paul's Cathedral. But for the few hundred who stayed on after Saturday's main protest, the real demonstration is only just beginning. They are here, they say, for long haul.

In scenes resembling New York's Occupy Wall Street event, protesters in London reaffirmed their long-term ambitions by setting up a makeshift camp with kitchen, temporary toilets, a media centre and more than 75 tents.

Between 200 and 300 activists remained at the St Paul's camp last night, with Scotland Yard describing the mood as "calm".

"I wasn't planning to stay last night, but to know people all around the world are doing it was so inspiring," said Jen Witts, 31, charity worker, adding: "The Government doesn't work for the people any more."

Scores of cities in the US and in Europe saw similar protests across the weekend. By last night they were thought to have spread to 950 areas in 80 countries. The groups all adopted the "We are the 99 per cent" motif – a reference to the richest 1 per cent of the world's population who control its assets while billions live in poverty.

Gavin Smart, a delivery driver from Aylesbury, said: "Everyone's calling for a new style of democracy. This isn't a one-weekend protest – this is an encampment." The Met gradually scaled back its presence throughout the weekend, with around just 30 by Sunday afternoon. No arrests were made yesterday, compared to eight on Saturday, mainly for public disorder; six people were charged.

The Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's, endorsed the right to protest, suggesting their goals were in keeping with Christian values: "This morning I read a bit from Matthew Chapter Six, about how you can't serve God and money."

The scenes were of stark contrast to New York, where police made more than 92 arrests over the weekend. Most of the demonstrations in Europe remained peaceful with the exception of Rome where violence broke out when masked "Black Bloc" protesters torched cars, attacked banks and hurled rocks at police officers. There were 70 injuries and 12 arrests.

Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday dismissed protests as the answer to the financial crisis. "It is true that a lot of things have to be faced up to in the Western world and there have been too many debts built up by states and clearly in the banking system a lot has gone wrong," he told the BBC. "The answer is governments to control their debts and deficits. I'm afraid protesting on the streets is not going to solve the problem."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee