It has been two months since Grenfell fire. Unsurprisingly, a lot of you have stopped talking about it, just like our media outlets and of course not forgetting the deafening silence from our government. Some might think this is ‘old news’ and might think it is a bit weird that I am choosing now to speak about what happened on the 14th of June 2017, but I think right now is a perfect time.
A couple of weeks ago the government announced that they would cover the burnt tower, which many of the victims were grateful for as the sight of it brings back horrible memories that are too much to endure. Obviously, the victims are the number one priority here but I would hate to think that this would be a case of ‘out of sight out of mind’. The charred black building towering over North Kensington is a reminder of what happened on the 14th of June. It is a reminder of all the people that were murdered in the fire. It is also a reminder that there are still so many people unaccounted for, families who cannot mourn the death of their loved ones as their bodies have not been recovered or named, victims who are not in permanent housing… and murderers who are not in jail.
The black tower is a stain on our society in more ways than one. The most vulnerable people in society lived in Grenfell tower. People who have fled war torn countries and come to England to finally be safe and bring up their children without fear of being killed were put into a death trap and betrayed by our government. People who suffered from disabilities and just some of the poorest people in our society were put into this tower and left to die. I know it sounds harsh but it is the truth of the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that shit happens, fires do happen all the time, but this can’t be seen as just an accident or an unfortunate event that couldn’t have been prevented because the truth is it could have been prevented. I’m sure you have heard a lot of this before but I don’t know about you but whenever I think of what happened at Grenfell I feel the same anger as I did when I first heard about it. Residents in the building were just left there, they complained and notified the authorities so many times about the fire safety of the building, they alerted the council on many occasions about there being no sprinklers or working fire alarms even TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE FIRE! This was pure negligence. The people that lived there were poor and not seen by the government or local council to be of any value and so they were ignored and left to live in unsafe conditions which eventually led to their deaths. Not to mention the flammable cladding that was the reason for all of the deaths was simply a cheaply resourced material on the building to make it look prettier for all the rich people who lived in the area, so they didn’t have to look at a building that represented poverty.
That is not even the worst part. After the fire no one took responsibility for it or to apologise, not even our government or our Prime Minister. Then they didn’t even offer sufficient support. The victims were told they would be rehoused in two weeks. Two months on there are still families living in temporary accommodation, in some cases four family members hearing one hotel room. I just think it is extraordinary that in this day and age where everything can be recorded and put on the internet that the government still think that they can lie to us and not just lie to us but blatantly break promises and just go on as normal.
The point of this was not to rant even though it was so easy to. What happened at Grenfell was one of the most heartbreaking things I have witnessed and yes people die every day but all the factors that caused this atrocity just make it unbearable. The point of this post is to one remind us all of the injustice these people have suffered and are still suffering and it is our responsibility to never forget what happened at Grenfell but to also demand justice and not let this be swept under the carpet.
Never forget Grenfell.