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Protests force London's St. Paul's Cathedral to close

AP reports:

LONDON — London's landmark St Paul's Cathedral closed its doors on Friday because of hazards posed by hundreds of protesters encamped in front of it in a demonstration inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Dean Graeme Knowles, a senior cleric, wrote an open letter to protesters asking them to leave the square peacefully, which they have occupied since last Saturday after initially targeting the nearby London Stock Exchange.

    "We have done this with a very heavy heart, but it is simply not possible to fulfill our day to day obligations to worshippers, visitors and pilgrims in current circumstances," Knowles said in a statement.

    Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

    A girl listens at the closed west door of St Paul's Cathedral on October 21 in London, England. The Dean of St Paul's has closed the cathedral and requested that the Occupy London protestors leave the area where they have set up camp in protest against the global financial system.

    Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images

    Protestors tents are seen in the church yard of St Paul's Cathedral in the city of London on October 21. St Paul's Cathedral said Friday it was closing its doors to the public for the first time in modern history because of anti-capitalist demonstrators camping outside the London landmark.