Grenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing…

Grenfell Tower, photo James Ivens

Grenfell Tower, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Helen Pattison, youth and student organiser, London Socialist Party

A silent sea of people wearing green marched through the streets of Kensington and Chelsea on 14 June.

Green has become synonymous with the disaster at Grenfell and the residents’ continued fight for justice.

This march was to mark the one-year anniversary of the fire. Around 5,000 people from across London gathered in the shadow of the tower to pay their respects.

These silent marches have been a monthly occurrence in west London and firefighters have been present each time.

This was followed on Saturday 16 June by a demonstration in central London, outside Downing Street. Hundreds of campaigners – including Fire Brigades Union members – rallied to condemn the litany of neoliberal cost-cutting polices which contributed to the Grenfell incident.

Socialist Party placards on the Saturday protest read: “A year too long, Take over empty homes” – a reference to the 1,600 or so empty private properties that exist in Kensington and Chelsea while one in four Grenfell Tower residents are still not permanently housed.

Jeremy Corbyn originally raised the need to requisition empty homes so families could be housed, which the Socialist Party supported. But this has not happened.

Other placards said: “Jail the killer profiteers” and “Organise for safe housing for all” to highlight the disgusting cost-cutting cladding which enabled the fire to spread and still remains on over 100 buildings nationally.

Residents should not have to live in fear their homes are unsafe. We deserve safe homes for all.

West London Socialist Party public meeting on Grenfell

Thursday 21 June 7.30pm

Paddington Development Trust (note change of venue)

122 Great Western Studios, 61 Alfred Road, W2 5EU

Tube: Westbourne Park