Socialist Worker

Report reveals fresh safety failings over Grenfell as 2,000 attend silent march

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2587

People came from across London for the monthly silent march on Sunday

People came from across London for the monthly silent march on Sunday (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Seven months after the Grenfell Tower fire, the level of contempt for working class people felt by those responsible is still being revealed.

A report submitted to the Kensington and Chelsea council housing and planning scrutiny committee on Monday showed further failings by the body responsible for managing the tower.

The body, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), has a backlog of 3,500 repairs.

It has also only now begun to carry out fire safety checks on the other properties it manages for the council.

The report also shows that Repairs Direct—the firm that KCTMO used to carry out maintenance work—has had over 700 complaints directed against it since 2014/15.

Residents and campaigners have held monthly silent marches to commemorate the victims of the fire. They have been an important focus of anger—and now they are turning their focus towards the council. Walk organiser Zeyad Cred said, “It’s time for us to take this movement to the other side of Kensington.

“I’m suggesting we meet at the town hall in Kensington and march to the tower.”

Firefighters on the silent march for Grenfell

Firefighters joined the silent march for Grenfell (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Some 2,000 people joined the silent march on Sunday night. People came from across London to pay their respects and to voice their anger.

Contempt

Social housing tenants everywhere face the same kind of contempt as the people who lived in Grenfell Tower.

Hanan from the Ledbury Tenants Action Group in Southwark spoke to Socialist Worker about their fight to get repair work done.

“We had holes in the walls between flats, which means fire will spread easily between them,” he said.

“But wider problems with the construction have been revealed. People are being made to bid against each other for new council homes. It’s outrageous.”

General secretary of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack told Socialist Worker, “We can’t allow the issue to be kicked into the long grass. There needs to be a powerful alliance of the local community and trade unions to take the fight forward.”

A meeting has been called by the Justice4Grenfell campaign on 1 February at the Maxilla Social Club in the shadow of the tower.

And campaigners and local people have called for a national demonstration on the anniversary of the fire.

Simohamed told Socialist Worker he has been to every single silent walk so far. “The government doesn’t really want to deal with it so they just want to delay and avoid responsibility,” he said.

His friend Jonah agreed. He said, “They see it as a problem for them so they want to push it out of the spotlight.”

Grenfell—how can we get justice? Thursday 1 February, 7pm. Maxilla Social Club, 2 Maxilla Walk, London, W10 6NQ

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.