Britain’s St. Paul’s Cathedral May Reopen Despite Protests

Posted October 26th, 2011 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
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St.Paul's Cathedral in Britain says it could re-open to the public, despite a protest camp outside the London landmark.

The Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, Reverend Graeme Knowles, made the announcement Wednesday, saying the cathedral could re-open by Friday after “Occupy London Stock Exchange” protesters made changes in the layout of the tent city to make it safer. The improvements include a passageway allowing evacuation of the area in an emergency.

Church officials closed St. Paul's doors several days ago, saying the camp set up October 15 by some 500 demonstrators protesting corporate greed was a hazard. Last Friday, Reverend Knowles said he had no choice but to close down the cathedral because all the cooking stoves and fires created significant issues with health and safety.

A final decision on opening the cathedral is expected Thursday. But Reverend Knowles added that St. Paul's, which originally welcomed the protesters, is considering all of its options, including legal action.

The protesters have worked with health and safety officials to make sure the site is safe and denied church claims that their encampment is a hazard.

The church is losing ten of thousands of dollars in donations each day it remains closed.