The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Reverend Giles Fraser, spoke on Thursday about his reasons for resigning over the cathedral’s stance towards the protest camp which has been established over the past two weeks.
“I cannot support using violence to ask people to clear off the land,” Fraser told the Guardian. “It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent.”
Fraser said he decided to resign on Wednesday when he realised he could not reconcile his conscience with the possibility of the church and the Corporation of London combining to evict the protesters from the land outside the cathedral, some of which is jointly owned with the City.
“The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence,” said Fraser, adding that it was apparent that the Corporation of London was clearer than the cathedral authorities about its desire to see the protesters moved on.
“I cannot countenance the idea that this would be about [the eviction of] Dale Farm on the steps of St Paul’s.