Zane’s father Kye was paralysed in the toxic incident that killed Zane (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)
Kye Gbangbola, Truth About Zane campaign
I was invited to speak at Socialism 2017 with Chris Baugh, assistant general secretary of civil servants’ union PCS, at a forum called ‘Environmental crisis: a working class issue’. It was chaired by Paul Couchman who we know as secretary of Surrey Save our Services.
As a first-timer at the annual Socialism event I was looking forward to the array of learning and interaction on offer.
There was plenty of refreshments, stalls selling books and lots of friendly faces to chat with.
It was quickly apparent that the people here had a different role to those I have observed at other events.
All who enter do so as equals, empowered to speak and share their views of the topic. This dynamic enables maximum participation and involvement, and provides good feedback to the speakers.
Most of the seats in the meeting space were taken. There were even a few people stood at the back.
Our house had become infused with hydrogen cyanide gas, according to the fire brigade ‘hazmat’ team, which we believe came from flood water passing through a secret landfill next door. This resulted in seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola’s death.
80% of the British population lives within 2km of landfill according to a 2001 study published in the British Medical Journal.
Many people were ambulanced to hospital. I was in cardiac arrest and am now paralysed. Had Zane’s mother Nicole Gbangbola not raised the alarm many more in the area could have died.
The incident was escalated to the government’s emergency ‘Cobra’ committee. The area was evacuated for several weeks.
We couldn’t live in our home for over a year. It had to be protected by gas-proof membranes, ventilation and alarms.
Astonishingly the Environment Agency and local council protected their own properties from the risk of migrating landfill gases killing occupants four years before!
We have the deepest praise for the bravery and honesty of the fire brigade. The coroner blamed Zane’s death on carbon monoxide, which the fire brigade did not detect in our all-electric home. Other authorities seemed to close ranks to protect their reputation.
Chris Baugh offered his deepest and heartfelt condolences. All in the room could not help but be visibly moved by what had happened, and angered by the injustice.
The environment is a working class issue. Although all classes are in this, workers are affected most. The revolution begins with the abuse of the many by the few.
The loss of a child is the cruellest thing that can happen to any family. Our beautiful son’s death has left us empty and broken.
We have endured the most astounding catalogue of abuse from authorities, but still we fight for justice.
If you think Zane deserves truth and justice please sign and share our petition for a public inquiry. If we reach 100,000 signatures parliament has to consider debating it.