Protesters 'to continue stock exchange demo'

Anti-capitalist protesters in London were continuing their demonstration through the night after the movement that began with Occupy Wall Street spread worldwide.

Thousands descended on the area around the London Stock Exchange yesterday in a bid to replicate the huge demonstrations taking place in New York.



As night fell protesters had pitched tents at the foot of the steps of St Paul's Cathedral after police cordoned off Paternoster Square, where the Stock Exchange is located.



Scotland Yard had said it would be "illegal and disrespectful" to camp in front of the cathedral, but a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police later said: "We are not going to move anyone at this time."



The force said it had made efforts to ensure yesterday's protest was largely peaceful.



Five arrests were made throughout the day - three for assault on police and two for public order offences.



A spokesman for the protesters said the demonstration was to "challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled our economy".



"This occupation and 20 other occupations all around the UK have been directly inspired by what's happening all across America and especially Wall Street," he added.



Spyro Van Leemnen, a supporter of Occupy London Stock Exchange, was among those camping outside St Paul's.



The 27-year-old, originally from Greece, said: "There are about 100 tents here - in the churchyard, on the steps, and in between St Paul's and Paternoster Square.



"There are still a lot of police here but it's all very peaceful."



Mr Van Leemnen, who said he works in public relations, described the protest as the "initial stage of the movement to start a dialogue" and said it was about "democratising the financial system".



He added: "We're going to stay until the morning and the next day and the day after - as long as it takes until the Government hears our voice and says they are going to change things."



He foresaw no problems for when worshippers begin arriving in the morning, adding: "This is a peaceful movement. I'm sure the people who go to the cathedral won't be up for a fight."



A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the protest had been "largely calm and orderly", but urged protesters to leave the area around the cathedral.



However, Occupy London Stock Exchange supporter Anna Jones claimed "a disproportionate amount of force" was used by police against protesters outside St Paul's.



She said: "We have seen people, kettled, grabbed and thrown off the steps forcefully by the police. This was entirely unnecessary. None came here to have a fight with the police."



Earlier, police began removing protesters from the cathedral steps, leading to physical confrontations, and officers expressed concerns about the cathedral's pillars being damaged by people sitting on its steps.



A Met spokesman said a "containment" was carried out in the churchyard "prevent a breach of the peace".



Well-known activists including Julian Assange and Peter Tatchell were among the protesters in London yesterday.



Mr Assange, creator of the WikiLeaks website, addressed the crowds on the steps of St Paul's.



A spokeswoman for the protesters said he had been challenged by police for wearing a mask as he walked to the protest.



She said: "As I understand it, Julian initially refused to take the mask off. Police detained him for 15 minutes before letting him go.



"He then gave a speech in which he talked about WikiLeaks, police oppression and the current economic situation."



Activists carried banners with slogans such as "We are the 99%" and "Bankers got a bailout, we got sold out".



Among them was Lorena Fuentes, 27, a charity worker originally from Vancouver, Canada.



She said: "I'm here today because I can't see why you wouldn't be and I feel that this is one of the few moments in history where it's not a protest, it's an actual movement that's taken root.



"We're trying to challenge this myth that there are not enough resources to go around."



Protests also took place on the streets of Edinburgh and Dublin, which passed off peacefully.



More than 100 demonstrators turned out to protest in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, while hundreds also took to the streets of Dublin.



In Italy however, police fired tear gas and water cannons as protesters turned the demonstration against corporate greed into a riot, smashing shop and bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles.



Police in riot gear charged the protesters and fired water cannons at them.



Several police officers and protesters were injured, including one man trying to stop protesters from throwing bottles.









All services at St Paul's Cathedral, the first of which was at 8am, are set to go ahead as planned today, Sky News reported.



One clergyman told the news channel: "I don't have a problem with people being out here and expressing their right to protest."









Around 70 tents were set up yesterday evening and through the night in St Paul's Churchyard after attempts to occupy the London Stock Exchange in nearby Paternoster Square were blocked by police.



Ben Doran, 21, a music student from the Midlands who stayed at the makeshift campsite last night, witnessed the scene.



Mr Doran said a clergyman had come out on to the cathedral steps this morning and expressed his support for the protesters.



He said: "The reverend came out this morning and asked the police to leave the steps of the cathedral and said he didn't mind protesters being here, that he supported the democratic right to protest.



"He said there was no issue and that people were treating the site respectfully and he was happy for it to carry on.



"He was asked if the services would still be carrying on and he said yes, they would carry on as if there was no problem happening.



"The response from protesters was very positive, everybody likes to feel that the community around us are helping out."



One protester, a pensioner from London who gave her name as Ruth, said: "The vicar said he had no problem with us being here, he could see we weren't here against the church, we were here against the stock exchange.



"He said that the bad news was that the cathedral's bells are really loud, that our samba band was loud last night but we ain't seen nothing yet, and that it would wake us all up.



"We said that's absolutely fine with us and we're delighted to have his support."



Worshippers at the cathedral also expressed their support for the protesters.



Diane Richards, 36, a mental health support worker from south London who worships occasionally at St Paul's, said: "The general atmosphere within the church this morning has been quite supportive.



"The protesters have kept it well organised, they are trying to keep a very peaceful demonstration."



John Maguire and his wife Gail, from Haslemere, Surrey, attended the service to celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary.



Mr Maguire, 51, a charity worker, said: "I think the protesters have got a valid point to make and obviously they want to make it in the most visible sense, so I'm pleased for them."



Source: PA

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice