Socialist Worker

‘The poor live here, the rich don’t give a crap about us,’ say local residents after Grenfell Tower fire

Issue No. 2559

Residents and activists have been coordinating donations

Residents and activists have been coordinating donations (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Many residents in the local area point the finger at the council and the leaders of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), responsible for social housing in the borough.

Local resident and activist Isis spoke to Socialist Worker.

She has been helping coordinate volunteers to sort and pack tons of donations. She is also vice chair of Grenfell Action Group.

“This happened because of the incompetency of this and previous Tory regimes, particularly at the council,” she said.

“Tenants asked for double glazing but they were given substandard cladding.

“So people were basically trapped in their flats, boxed in a death trap.

“Emergency services couldn’t get access to the block because of the developments.

“The deaths are at the hands of the council and KCTMO. They refused to hear the voices of the residents and act in their best interests.

“They’ve acted in the interests of their Tory friends, the bankers, the developers and all the capitalists who are coming to this area and trying to move us out.”

Preventable

Daniel is a community worker from the area. He told Socialist Worker, “All of these deaths were preventable. This is either gross negligence, at the very least, or corporate manslaughter.”

“But the council and KCTMO should be considered as murderers—mass murderers that thought they could play a game with people’s lives and they lost. But it wasn’t them that lost—it’s the people that are dead.”

Nassime was worried. “I know a few people in there that no one knows about. People say they are missing, some say they’re dead but we just don’t know,” he said.

“I’ve been told there were gas pipes fitted through the fire escapes. It’s just crazy.”

Mohammed from Brent went to help. He said, “I like the fact that everyone is working together as one to help out.

“But it’s the poor that tend to live in these kinds of places and the rich don’t give a crap about us.”

Taiwo came to donate. She lives in Thamesmead.

She said, “If there’s something you need to do—if you were meant to take care of the building—and you didn’t do it then I blame you.”


‘That is murder—and Tories should stay away’

Charlenes sign warns Theresa May to stay away after the Grenfell Tower fire

Charlene's sign warns Theresa May to stay away after the Grenfell Tower fire (Pic: Socialist Worker)


A stone’s throw from Grenfell Tower, local resident Charlene made two signs that she has mounted outside her block to express how she was feeling.

“We, the people demand justice,” read one. The other is directed at Theresa May and warned her to “stay away”.

On Friday morning a woman stopped in her car to challenge Charlene’s signs.

The woman in the car, a Tory voter with a Conservative party logo on her steering wheel was swiftly chased off by a dozen locals.

Pointing to the burned out shell of the tower Charlene told Socialist Worker, “That is not a fire, that is murder.”


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