An Occupy reading of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

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Friday 30 December at 6pm — St. Paul's Cathedral steps

Adapted by: Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by: Josh Appignanesi
Readers will include: Allan Corduner, Alan Cox, Sara Kestleman, Pam Miles, Tim Pigott-Smith, Ian Redford
Produced by: Occupy London

With the increase in public discontent and protest, and as Dickens’ bicentennial approaches, it seems only fitting to stage a public reading of 'A Christmas Carol' at St. Paul’s Cathedral and OccupyLSX. Dickens was compelled to write 'A Christmas Carol' out of a strong desire to comment on the enormous gap between the rich and poor in Victorian Britain. It is a similar strength of conviction that has motivated the growth of the Occupy movement to respond to the worsening conditions and state of emergency we live within, and to work to transform the growing social, economic and political injustices of our time.

As Giles Fraser, the former canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral says: ‘Christmas is the most political of the Church's festivals…all politics is about people, and that without a fundamental sympathy for the plight of other human beings, and in particular for the dispossessed, no political movement for social change is ever going to capture the heart. For Dickens, Christmas was the emotional centre of the big society. Peace on earth and goodwill to all.’ In the preface to his book, Dickens’ conveys his intentions for writing it: ‘I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly…’

We at Occupy London invite everyone to join in the playfulness and seriousness of the Christmas spirit, and to ‘haunt pleasantly’ in a way that calls attention to the reality that our status quo is unsustainable and unjust. We are here, like Dickens, to creatively disrupt, and to make Christmas mean something this year beyond a consumerist spending frenzy. This Christmas, and in the year ahead, we invite you to combine irreverent fun with spiritual contemplation, to continue of the fight against social and economic injustice, and to partake in the creation of real, direct democracy. Please join us.

NB: Posted because I believe that this looks important - and the message even more so. I regret I won't be there.