Socialist Worker

March for Grenfell swells with silent anger as report condemns Tory council

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2581

The march was the largest yet

The march was the largest yet (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Almost 2,000 people joined the latest monthly silent march on Tuesday night to commemorate the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

One survivor of the fire told the crowd, "It's important to remember why we walk this march. It's about remembering the lives lost and showing dignity to the world.

"Next month and the months that follow we will gather together."

Firefighters on the march

Firefighters on the march (Pic: Guy Smallman)

This was the biggest of the silent marches so far.

As well as a growing number of local residents, it included a delegation of firefighters in uniform.

And the silence belies a deep anger people feel after the fire.

School student Shaniya told Socialist Worker, "We can't get justice with the people in government at the moment.

"They don't even care. It's been five months and what has happened? Nothing."

Next month's march will mark six months since the fire.

"There's still an incredible amount of anger," march organiser Zeyad Cred told Socialist Worker.

A report by the Labour MP for Kensington and Chelsea, Emma Dent Coad, entitled After Grenfell, gives the context for that anger.

It found that 311 households are still in hotels and bed and breakfasts after the fire. The Tory-run council have claimed the figure is 203.

Dent Coad describes Kensington and Chelsea as “an elephant’s graveyard” of homes for the rich which sit empty. Meanwhile in the Golborne ward of the borough 68 percent of children live in overcrowded homes.

More people died in Grenfell Tower fire than the Tories will admit
More people died in Grenfell Tower fire than the Tories will admit
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Tory council leader Elizabeth Campbell tried to dismiss Dent Coad's report, whining that "using the Grenfell disaster to try and drive a wedge between our communities in the borough is opportunistic."

But Labour MP David Lammy blasted Kensington and Chelsea Tories as "offensive and insensitive" over a questionnaire they sent out to residents this week.

It asked "how important to you and your family" is the fire and other "local issues" from "0 - not important at all" to "10 - very important".

The survey suggests that the Tories still don't understand the bitterness at their class contempt that left an estimated 99 people dead and hundreds still homeless.

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