Socialist Worker

Grenfell protesters prepare to take message to parliament

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2600

On Saturdays Silent Walk

On Saturday's Silent Walk (Pic: @gazmurph on Twitter)


Protesters will gather outside parliament on 14 May as MPs debate whether the public inquiry into the immediate causes of the Grenfell fire should have a representative panel from the local community.

The demonstration was confirmed as over 1,000 people joined the monthly Silent Walk in west London on Saturday evening. It is ten months since the Grenfell Tower fire.

The petition calling for the community panel received over 100,000 signatures and was boosted by support from musician Stormzy.

On Saturday there was continuing anger over the lack of official action. In the ten months since the fire just 62 households out of 209 have been rehoused.

Homeless

Those made homeless know that if they accept permanent housing now they will not be able to change later, despite the council’s promises. And many of the homes offered to people have been woefully inadequate.

At the end of the march Moyra Samuels from Justice for Grenfell spoke. “We have a battle to get residents into decent and safe housing,” she said. “Ten months on and people are still in hotels. It is bloody outrageous.

“There’s no money for social housing, there’s no money for the NHS—but there’s money for war!”

Bikers from the Deen Riders Muslim motorbike club led off the march down Kensington High Street. A spokesperson from them had a message for Theresa May. “You have it in your power to make this hardship go away,” they said. “You have it in your power to ensure justice.

“Do you truly feel accountable or responsible?”

There’s no money for social housing, there’s no money for the NHS—but there’s money for war!

Tory local government minister Sajid Javid has announced the government is considering getting rid of "desktop testing". This is the practice of issuing safety certificates for building products based on the test results of their constituent products, or of similar products.

This is a miniscule step in the right direction. The entire system of deregulation needs to be scrapped and people put before profit.

A Grenfell United spokesperson described the Tories as having an “ideological aversion to regulation.”

Revelations about the lack of building safety in Britain that have come to light since the fire continue. Last week gas distribution firm Cadent Gas, previously known as National Grid Gas Distribution, admitted that it had incomplete records of gas pipes in some 1,000 high rise buildings.

The company pipes gas into homes in four of eight regions in Britain.

Speaking at the end of the march Moyra Samuels said, “We will fight and not rest until the truth is heard about what happened at Grenfell.”


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