LONDON (AP) – Protesters camped outside London's St. Paul's Cathedral said Wednesday that authorities have offered to let the tent city stay until next year, as the leader of the world's Anglicans backed a so-called Robin Hood tax on financial transactions as one way to alleviate the global economic crisis.
The loosely organized demonstration against capitalist excess, inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street movement, has wrong-footed both city and church officials since it began last month, defying pleas to leave and the threat of legal action.
Authorities have suspended legal bids to remove the tents. On Wednesday John Cooper, a lawyer for the protesters, said that local government had offered the protesters a deal ``to stay on site until the new year.'' ``My client is considering this offer,'' he said on Twitter. Cooper confirmed the offer in an email to The Associated Press.
One of the protesters, Tina Rothery, said the local government had offered not to take any legal action until 2012, but was asking demonstrators to remove some of the scores of tents outside the building.
``We would have to make a slight reduction in tents in order to free up space for the fire brigade,'' she said. ``We are delighted,'' she added. ``This is a great U-turn from the Corporation of London.''
A spokesman for local authority the City of London Corporation did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. While police and bailiffs have removed protest camps in some cities around the world, the London demonstrators have endured, in part due to their location in front of one of the city's most famous buildings.