UK
16/10/2011 03:00 BST | Updated 15/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Occupy London Protesters Welcomed Into St Paul's Cathedral By Canon Giles Fraser (PICTURES)

Demonstrators who set up camp in London's St Paul's Cathedral as part of the Occupy London movement inspired by similar protests in Wall Street say they have been given the right to protest by the Church's canon.

A spokesperson for Occupy London Stock Exchange told Huff Post UK over 250 protesters were camped at the Cathedral, adding: "The Canon at St Paul's came out to greet us and addressed us outside, - it was amazing! He defended the right to protest and invited everyone to the service! He also asked the police to leave, and they did! We are now in occupation!"

Canon Giles Fraser of St Paul's, the central London cathedral near the London Stock Exchange, reportedly told demonstrators on Sunday morning that they had a "right to protest". According to the anti-capitalist protesters, he told them: “I've seen what is going on and it seems to be that there doesn't need police force in the numbers that there have been, so I have asked them to move and they have done. All is well and there is a very calm atmosphere”.

Church services have taken place as usual despite the occupation.

The news comes as protesters rallied against what they labelled as police aggression as the group attempted to camp down in the Church. Anna Jones, a supporter of Occupy London Stock Exchange said people had been "grabbed" and kettled by police.

"We have seen people kettled, grabbed and thrown off the steps forcefully by the police. This was entirely unnecessary. No-one came here to have a fight with the police. The only crime that the police can pin on people is one of having a conversation about real democracy and the unfair and unequal economic system that favours the rich and powerful."

Occupy London say they are talking to the Canon to ensure smooth relations between the group and worshippers.

Occupier Andy Rogers said: “We've now been welcomed by St Paul's which is brilliant and we really want to extend that invitation to everyone at home. We are here to talk about the role that the financial sector, government and corporate greed have in ruining the lives of ordinary people and how we can bring about change, as you can see here, by working together, we can make a difference”.

This morning foreign secretary William Hague said he understood why people were angry but did not think protest was the answer.