Guidelines for ring of prayer at Occupy eviction
We’ve had a really positive response to our plans for a ring of prayer at the forced eviction of Occupy London Stock Exchange. Thanks very much!
Many people have been emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to ask to be contacted when eviction goes ahead. There is still time. You can send an email with the word “subscribe” in the subject box. Please include your mobile phone number if you would like to be contacted by text.
We’ve had lots of questions about practicalities and principles. We hope the following guidelines will be helpful.
- All are welcome to join the ring of prayer. It has been organised by Christianity Uncut with support from other Christian groups, but there are people of other faiths planning to join too.
- The ring of prayer can include prayer, hymn singing, scripture reading and other worshipful activities. Please feel free to worship in the your own faith tradition. Please try not to be negative about the faith of other participants.
- The situation may be very chaotic and confused. Please try to remain calm. We may not be able to form a literal circle of prayer, but a group of people praying will still provide a powerful witness.
- When the eviction begins, the police may cordon off the area. It would be really helpful if as many people as possible could get there before this happens. If you arrive after this, please try to pray as close to the cordon as possible, with others if you can find them. You may wish to pray near cameras or journalists in order to publicise our witness and its nonviolent nature.
- The ring of prayer will be actively nonviolent. It is a response to the violence of the City of London Corporation. Christianity Uncut condemns the violence of the City of London, as well as any suggestion that the eviction should be met with a violent response. Neither physical or verbal abuse has any place on the ring of prayer.
- The ring of prayer is organised in a spirit of love towards all concerned – protesters, police, bailiffs, public and other worshippers. If we face violence or abuse, we aim to respond with dignity, love and forgiveness.
- Some people have asked us whether joining the ring of prayer involves a commitment to refuse to leave if asked by bailiffs or police. It does not. Some will refuse to move, others will go when asked. It is up to you, and we do not wish to judge one response as better than another. Bailiffs are required by law to use the least force possibly. In practice, they often break this law, as was the case at the eviction of the Bank of Ideas.
The Corporation may be hoping that a nighttime eviction will reduce both the size and the visibility of the ring of prayer. But even a relatively small number of people praying during the eviction will be a significant witness to the power of God’s love, a subtle but strong alternative to the transient powers of money, markets and military might on which the City of London relies.
Shalom! See you there.