Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from Black Lives Matter
Three years ago 72 people died in Grenfell Tower, in the richest borough of London, due to profit-over-safety seeking companies. Cheaper flammable cladding was used so the wealthy neighbours had a more pleasant view of the tower which predominantly housed working-class black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) residents.
There was a ‘stay put’ policy in place in case of fire, as originally the block was built to contain a fire in one flat. But after the cladding was put in place, no new risk assessment had been done and the stay-put policy was maintained.
These deaths were totally avoidable and happened because of cuts and profiteering. Still to this day around 1,500 buildings with similar cladding house working-class people living in constant fear.
Mayola Demmenie, Basingstoke
What has happened to avert such a tragedy in the future? The answer, precious little. Still hundreds of tower blocks, thousands of homes, clad in what amounts to solidified petroleum.
72 people murdered in their homes and dozens made homeless by decisions made by people in the local Tory council, contractors and suppliers of inflammable cladding. Yet, not a single conviction, not even one prosecution.
The prime minister at the time, Theresa May, promised that all the residents would be rehoused in three weeks, yet some were still in temporary accommodation two years later!
Incredibly, in the London borough where this happened, Kensington, over 1,000 homes lay empty and unused – a mockery to the families in cramped bed and breakfast hotels.
Mike Cleverly, Waltham Forest
Grenfell Tower remains a statue, to British institutional racism.