Following a visit to London, Stroud District Councillor Martin Whiteside (Green, Thrupp) has praised the Occupy The London Stock Exchange protesters camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in London, describing them as "inspirational".
"What really hits you is the the atmosphere of sharing and tolerance:
they are really trying to create a caring, tolerant community," Martin said.
"Food was being shared among those present, it really felt like the
loaves and fishes in action!
"The camp is incredibly well organised, with about 100 tiny tents and then larger ones for information, first aid, meditation, a library, canteen, recycling, portaloos; there are even lectures by lecturers from nearby universities.
"The protesters don't expect easy answers, but they are driven by a realisation that there is something very wrong in a society where the bankers, who have a significant responsibility for the crisis, take home millions in bonuses, while those least responsible may go cold and hungry this winter.
Martin questioned the decision by the cathedral authorities to close it to the public.
"I was not convinced by the need to close St Paul's on health and safety grounds.
"The protesters have done everything the fire service asked in terms of allowing safe access.
"St Paul's and our other churches have managed to stay open throughout history under very much more difficult circumstances; this seems a pretty sad excuse to me.
He urged others to go and visit the protesters for themselves. "If you want to make up your own mind, go and have a look for yourself, have a cup of tea in the tent and talk to those involved: I think you will be inspired."
Martin was echoing Green Party leader and MP Caroline Lucas who said last week: "The camp that has been set up a stone's throw from London Stock Exchange is an opportunity to explore a different kind of future to the one the mainstream political parties have constructed."
Occupations are continuing in various parts of the world including Bristol.