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Court Papers Served on Occupy Sheffield by Sheffield Cathedral

@OccupySheffield @OccupyLSX | 14.01.2012 09:40 | Occupy Everywhere | Sheffield

Occupy Sheffield yesterday saw court papers which appear to show Sheffield Cathedral (a Christian organisation) taking Occupy Sheffield (an organisation of peaceful protestors of all faiths and none, campaigning for economic and social justice) to the High Court in search of an injunction on the matter of trespass.

Whilst we are raising queries with our legal advisors, Occupy Sheffield strongly believe that the solution to this situation is not legal action. Such an option would not be in keeping with the shared values of the Church and the Occupation. We continue to extend our invitation to Peter Bradley and the Cathedral Chapter to work with the Occupation to find a well reasoned and mutually acceptable resolution. The words of Canon Giles Fraser (who resigned over similar proceedings being brought by the City of London Corporation against Occupy LSX) are relevant here: “One has to be very, very careful that we distinguish between the needs of a building and the Church as an organisation that spreads the gospel…Now there are times when the two things are in tension…you have to ask yourself about extraordinary compromises and balances”. Examples of such compromise and balance have already been evidenced. We would urge Peter Bradley and the Chapter to adopt the stance of other Anglican leaders such as Desmond Tutu, Emeritus, Archbishop of Cape Town, Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, The Bishop of Wales, and The Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral.

Peter Bradley and the Chapter of Sheffield Cathedral should be in no doubt that by taking legal action to forcibly evict the Occupation could result in them being the first British church in recent times to condone violence by enforcement bodies against members of their own church. They would also be condoning the use of force against vulnerable pensioners, disabled and homeless people, such as users of the Cathedral Archer project. All of these vulnerable groups are regularly represented at the Occupy Camp.

Occupy Sheffield believe that compromise can only be reached by keeping open our lines of reasoned communication. All parties must dig deep and consider that if Peter Bradley, The Chapter and Occupy Sheffield embark on a long and costly legal battle it will ultimately reveal a collective lack of wisdom that this was allowed to happen at all. Occupy Sheffield are disappointed that Peter Bradley has never visited the camp to talk to us. We do not enjoy the vested ecumenical power of Peter Bradley or the Chapter; we believe they are vulnerable to abuse such power and make uninformed decisions about people who do not enjoy this advantage, and with whom they have had very little engagement.

Occupy Sheffield has taken a stand on Church St because we believe our world has become dominated by a competitive, “dog eat dog” mentality. We will become perilously close to our darkest of days if this attitude is not tempered by the duty to see each other as valuable human beings and act with the respect that we all deserve.

Our appeal is for all parties to see the humanity in each other, to seek compromise over conflict, and peace over violence.

@OccupySheffield @OccupyLSX
- Homepage: https://occupysheffield.org/2012/01/14/court-papers/

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