Dean of St Paul’s leads prayers for victims of government cuts
Christianity Uncut news release – 27.09.13)
The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, David Ison, will lead prayers at a multifaith act of remembrance for people who have died or suffered as a result of UK government cuts. It will take place at noon tomorrow (Saturday 28 September) in Parliament Square, London.
The event, entitled 10,000 Cuts and Counting, is organised by Occupy London and Disabled People Against Cuts, with support from groups including Christianity Uncut, a network of Christians campaigning against the government’s cuts agenda.
The gathering will demand an end to the Work Capability Assessment, widely seen as a mechanism for removing disabled people’s benefits. Official figures show that 10,600 people died in 2011 within six weeks of going through the assessment.
Other speakers at the act of remembrance include Muslim commentator Mohammed Ansar and Labour MP Michael Meacher. Many speakers have first-hand experience of the pain and suffering inflicted by government cuts.
Christianity Uncut has applauded the Dean of St Paul’s for taking this public stand. The organisation has had disagreements with St Paul’s Cathedral in the past. Five of its members were removed from the cathedral steps by police while praying during the eviction of Occupy London Stock Exchange in 2012. Christianity Uncut are now delighted to be working with St Paul’s in resisting austerity.
Siobhan Grimes, a member of Christianity Uncut who has been involved in organising the event, said:
“We are really pleased to be working alongside David Ison to hold this act of remembrance and solidarity. Together we are focusing on the reality of government policies that are snatching away the livelihoods of thousands of disabled people and punishing the poor for the sins of the rich. I hope more church leaders will follow the Dean’s example by speaking out publicly about the death and destruction that the cuts are bringing.”