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College Green update
Release date: Thu, 05/01/2012
The Dean of Bristol Cathedral, the Very Reverend David Hoyle, has today issued a final, personal plea to those occupying College Green in Bristol to clear the site so it can be restored to full public use.
At a meeting with a number of people who occupy this important city centre space, the Dean made it clear that he and the Cathedral Chapter strongly respect the right to peaceful protest but that it remained the earnest desire of both the Cathedral Chapter and Bristol City Council that the protest ends, as it began two and a half months ago - peacefully, and with the focus on the global issues that inspired it.
Reiterating what he has said at numerous meetings since the occupation began two and a half months ago, he said: “This protest, as with those around the UK and abroad, has laid down a real challenge for us and for others to reflect on issues of privilege, greed and justice.
"Many of the global economic, sustainability and social justice issues espoused by some in the camp have always been of equal concern to the Church. The Cathedral community is responding to that challenge and we will continue to do that in the weeks and months to come. Whilst we are committed to listening to the Occupy Movement, we believe it is now time that this stage in their protest came to an end so that a wider community can once again benefit from access to College Green.”
The Dean made it clear however that the serving of Court proceedings would start today so that College Green could be restored to its primary purpose, as an open space for all Bristolians to use. He sincerely hoped that the Occupiers would now agree to move on peacefully.
As on previous occasions, the Dean was heard with courtesy and was engaged in a conversation of mutual respect.
Leader of the Council Barbara Janke added: “From day one of this protest, our respect for peaceful protest has been clear in our statements and visible in our actions. After two and a half months of occupation, the camp is less a symbol of widespread citizen concern about issues of social justice, and more an environmental eyesore and antisocial nuisance.
"In lockstep with the Cathedral authorities throughout, I again join with the Dean in his plea. Those who have been protesting can leave with their heads high, and carry on the important debate around these global issues that they have highlighted in our city.
"I hope that they will do so now voluntarily, but either way, after a 12 week period of patience which so many of their fellow citizens have criticised us for showing, it is time for this to end.”