#Occupylsx takes root at St Pauls

St PaulsHundreds of demonstrators appear to be contained in front of St Paul's Cathedral in central London as attempts to set up a permanent protest continue. I'm still at the scene and have just spoken to two protestors who have been allowed to leave the scene. They told me they were asked for their name and address but declined to give them, and say that others trying to enter the space in front of St Pauls are being asked for personal details.
I've walked all the way around the cathedral and there appears to be no way in or out of Paternoster Square or the area in front of the cathedral. There are between 3,000-4,000 protestors here now and the event's tweet stream is reporting that the cathedral steps are now officially the site of the London occupation.

Requests to police officers present on the scene to clarify the situation have met with a mixed response, and the Met's press office, where press are being referred, will only say they will not provide a running commentary but that "an appropriate police operation is in place".

One officer told me that there are points where people can leave, but having walked the perimeter of what appears to be a containment I can confirm that there is only one point at which people are being allowed in and out of the cathedral area. I spoke to two of the protesters who were leaving the scene.

Steve and Denise from Vauxhall don't ft the stereotypical profile of the protesters. Both are in their 50s. Steve is an ops director at an advertising agency and Denise is a payroll clerk. They came from Vauxhall in South London and this was the first time they had been on any event like this. I asked them why they came.

"We're both of an age where we have a pension pot," said Steve. "I'm here because people are playing poker with my chips." The couple had been on the cathedral steps and said they felt police had been quite aggressive in the way they had moved people on.

AnonymousBoth expressed concern that people were being "interviewed" as they tried to move from and to the square. They also said they had been present when Julian Assange had arrived amidst a phalanx of colleagues and addressed the crowd.

I asked at several police lines if a kettle was in place. Officers said there was no kettle but there was a containment operation. As I was speaking to one officer, another who I had spoken to early this afternoon approached me and told me aggressively that "I have told you to speak to the press office."

I called the Met's press office and was told "an appropriate police operation is in place." I asked if this meant that there was a kettle. I was told "we are not going to provide a running commentary to the media" and that officers on the ground would be able to provide information.

When I pointed out that officers on the ground were, at times quite aggressively, referring questions to the press office I was told that if any AOL Money readers were present at the cathedral they could approach officers for information. When I asked if this meant the public could get information the press were denied I was told, "the line is what I've told you."

busAround the cathedral roads are closed and traffic is at a standstill. A bus driver stood bedside his vehicle having a cup of a tea and a smoke. Groups of protestors mixed with tourists outside what does appear to be a police corden. From the conversations I've overheard, many passers-by sympathise with the protestors.

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