St Paul's Occupiers Raise Offence Stakes

Not content irritating their own country, it seems the assorted communists, hippies and misfits that are occupying St Paul’s are about to trigger a diplomatic incident. The New York Times has the first clue:

“As they have for 50 years, Americans in London packed St. Paul’s Cathedral on Thursday for an annual Thanksgiving service… Four marines from the detachment at the U.S. Embassy in London, three of them veterans of the Iraq war, carried the Stars and Stripes and the Marine Corps colors across the marbled floor beneath the cathedral’s dome and laid them before the altar. As the banners were borne out again at the service’s end, the congregation of 3,500, many of them families with small children, raised a moving crescendo for the last verse of “America the Beautiful.”

This year that could be a bit of a problem. Guido hears that concern is growing at the US Embassy about the security surrounding the event pencilled in for November 24. Given that the Ambassador and other dignitaries will be there, a full scale security operation takes place. Officially the Embassy have refused to comment on security issues, but a source familiar with the situation has confirmed that even on a normal year bags would be screened, metal barriers put in place, and armed guards stationed around the area. Obviously with the hippy encampment outside the threat level is dramatically increased. Even if these obstacles are over come, Guido isn’t sure that the occupiers coming face to face with the US Marines in their full regalia is going to do the Special Relationship any favours…

Guido put this news to City of London Councilman Alex Deane who said:

“It’s shocking to think that the presence of these squatters may mean that our longstanding allies and friends, who stood beside us when our country was in peril, may be prevented from marking their national celebration at an historic ceremony. I urge the self-appointed “protesters” to clear the site voluntarily. They’re given to mindlessly chanting that “this is what democracy looks like” – so, just maybe, it will mean something to them that we all want our American friends to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in time-honoured fashion.”

Fellow Councilman Matthew Richardson added: “These part time squatters should hang their heads in shame that they have disgraced the memory of those who gave them the rights they so wilfully and selfishly abuse.” When the US Ambassador Louis B. Susman addressed the service last year he hammered home one point in particular:

“It is an honor to celebrate Thanksgiving, which is so special to Americans, in a place so venerated by the British people. Like many of you, I can remember those iconic images of St. Paul’s, standing dark and defiant amid the smoke, sirens and searchlights of the London Blitz, as if steadfast in the knowledge that this would pass, and victory would come.”

Not this year it seems…




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