A NURSE from Chester who has taken part in the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest insists the movement is peaceful.
Heather Lannin, of Mannings Lane South, Hoole, says when she travelled to the capital she was “surprised” by the organised structure of the camp and the friendliness of those present.
The 45-year-old, who works at the Countess of Chester Hospital, said protesters had set up the equivalent of a minature community outside of St Peter’s Cathedral with a medical tent, a mess hall, a library and even a tent for women and children.
Ms Lannin, who went on behalf of Chester World Development Forum, said: “I felt a real urge to go even if it was just for one night, to lend my support for the cause of a world for all.
“Then I heard on the news they were going to arrest people, but I had already booked my ticket so I thought I would go anyway.
“What I found surprised me, I found a full camp very organised in place.”
She added: “I was met with great hospitality by the protesters. They showed me round and made me feel welcome. They described a good relationship with the three police who have been patrolling the camp, almost as if they are guarding it.
“The only little bit of disturbance I witnessed there in 20 hours was three dogs who at one point started attacking each other.”
She added the camp also featured daily speakers and film showings, informed debates and coordinated group activities. People had not only travelled from across the country but also from abroad, including one man who was visiting from Asia.
Ms Lannin said: “The media seem to be focusing on clamping down on something as a negative force. I think if people went there they'd have a positive experience.”
The demonstration, which is against perceived economic inequality in the UK and across the world, began in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. This week, scores of people were arrested in New York after a court evicted them from their base.