London Grenfell Tower survivors fight for justice

This video from London, England says about itself:

Furious Grenfell Tower Residents Confront Tory Minister Over Theresa May’s Refusal to Meet them

17 June 2017

Furious residents from the Grenfell Tower have confronted Andrea Leadsom over Theresa May’s refusal to meet residents from the tower.

Fears grow over ’15 tots from same nursery missing’ in Grenfell Tower fire. A childcare worker at Grenfell Nursery reportedly told a relative ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’: here.

Family’s tribute to ‘amazing’ Grenfell fire victim who died while brother survived as they were separated during chaos. Today police formally identified 23-year-old Mohammad Alhajali as a victim of the fire that so far is feared to have claimed 58 lives: here.

‘My brother’s in the flat but he’s dead’: Five-year-old Grenfell fire survivor’s harrowing words to firefighter. Crew manager Damian Magee found the young child on the stairs with his badly injured mother as they tried to escape the blaze: here.

Protest at Downing Street over Theresa May’s DUP deal and Grenfell Tower response. Marchers chant ‘go Jeremy Corbyn’ and wave placards saying ‘defy Tory rule”: here.

This video from London, England says about itself (based on the Conservative Daily Mail):

Lily Allen joins Grenfell Tower Blaze Protest at Kensington Town Hall

17 June 2017

Lily Allen joins Grenfell Tower Blaze Protest at Kensington Town Hall

Fury over Grenfell Tower tragedy boils over as protesters storm Kensington Town Hall, boo PM and march on Downing St shouting ‘May must go‘ as they blame Tory cuts for the fire that ‘killed 70’

• Earlier today Prime Minister Theresa May was heckled as she attended St Clement’s Church in Kensington
• Demonstrators later gathered outside the local council’s headquarters with questions for local officials
• Some of the group then got inside Kensington town hall, west London chanting ‘murderers’ and ‘cowards
• At least 300 people appeared outside the building this afternoon, chanting slogans and waving placards
• Separate protests spread to other locations in central London including outside Downing Street …

Frustrations over the fatal Grenfell Tower fire boiled over yesterday as victims, residents and protesters took to the streets of central London demanding answers over the blaze.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Kensington town hall in west London wanting to know how the tragedy could have happened.

The frustrated victims and family members then marched to the scene of the blaze at Grenfell Tower.

A separate march was held on Whitehall, where protesters were angry with the response from the Government following Wednesday’s disaster.

The group brought the heart of London to a standstill as they tried to march from the Home Office headquarters to Downing Street.

The crowd, shouting ‘May must go‘, ‘justice for Grenfell’ and ‘blood on your hands’, were met with a cordon of police officers as they marched up Horse Guards Parade, coming to a stop outside Downing Street.

Organisers estimated at least 1,400 were involved, with many waving placards. Protesters were also seen holding a sit-in at Oxford Circus and a further demonstration outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House.

It came as Prime Minister Theresa May faced angry scenes earlier in the day as she met the group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the horrific blaze.

The Prime Minister was booed and jeered after she met survivors of the inferno but failed to address people demanding a response to the devastating fire.

An angry protester shouted: ‘What is she doing here? She’s going back to her nice cosy home. Why has she come only on Friday? Get the f*** out.’

Other people shouted ‘murderer’ and ‘coward’ at the Prime Minister as she abandoned the meeting to return to the security of Downing Street. …

Councillors are among those who face serious questions over the apparent safety failings which led to the fire spreading quickly up the tower block on Tuesday night.

The protesters initially gathered outside the building, insisting that those displaced by the disaster be housed with the London borough rather than elsewhere.

But some of the group then went through the door chanting ‘we want justice’ and pushed up the stairs towards the authority’s offices. Some shouted ‘murderers’ while others yelled ‘cowards’.

The group were stopped halfway up the stairs, and most then returned outside.

The protesters issued a list of demands, including a ‘written commitment from the council on immediate rehousing of all the victims of Grenfell Tower fire, within the borough’.

A woman, who wiped away tears of frustration as she moved away from St Clement’s Church, said: ‘Everyone has lost everything and no one is doing nothing. This is our town.’

Another man, who did not give his name, told police: ‘It’s not your fault, she shouldn’t have come. What did she expect was going to happen.’

This 17 June 2017 video from London, England says about itself:

Justice for Grenfell tower demonstration

Global inequality much worse than previously thought, say economists. Official estimates of inequality only take into account the money that the tax man sees: here.

Badger family hugging each other

This 15 June 2017 video shows a badger family hugging each other.

Bastiaan Willemsen from the Netherlands made this video.

Yet, in Britain, Theresa May‘s Conservative government is killing these beautiful animals … and tried to kill foxes as well before losing the general election.

One of very many reasons why Theresa May’s government should quit.

Come demonstrate in London for that on 1 July if you can.

London Grenfell Tower tragedy, government blood on its hands

This video from London, England says about itself:

Grenfell Tower Resident Nadia Speaks Out Against Government’s Response to Disaster

17 June 2017

Grenfell Tower resident Nada aka Dj Ila ha spoken out about Theresa May’s government’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, questioning the point of sending large amounts of food and clothing aid to the victims of the fire with potentially hundreds of them dead and their remains still in the tower.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 17 June 2017


LIFE as far as private contractors are concerned is cheap!

It emerged yesterday that private contractors that refurbished Grenfell Tower a year before it burst into flames decided to use a cheaper cladding on the outside of the building which was not fire-proof.

For just £5,000 more the private contractors could have bought fire-proof cladding, but they would not splash out the extra cash choosing to save money rather than save lives. Hundreds of Reynobond aluminium coated panels – which are banned in the US over fire safety fears – were fitted to the outside of the London high-rise last year.

The building was covered in panels with a plastic core costing £22 per square metre, just £2 cheaper than the fire-resistant version. The contractors were awarded £8.6 million to refurbish Grenfell Tower, and as the death toll continues to rise, furious survivors and family and friends of those who have died are angry that their safety and the safety of their loved ones was compromised for profit.

Thirty people are now confirmed to have perished in the fire and there are a further 76 people still unaccounted for. A salesman for US-based Reynobond told The Times that the version used on Grenfell, which has a polyethylene centre and is referred to as ‘PE’, was banned in American buildings taller than 40ft over fire safety reasons. It’s because of the fire and smoke spread,’ he said. ‘The FR (variant) is fire-resistant. The PE is just plastic.’

The PE version is used for small commercial buildings and petrol stations, he added, rather than tower blocks or hospitals. The panel with the plastic core sells for £22 per square metre – just £2 cheaper than the fire-resistant version.

Rough calculations suggest panels covered 2,000 square metres of Grenfell Tower, meaning contractors could have used the fire-resistant type for less than £5,000 extra. The PE panels conform to UK standards but are rated as ‘flammable’ in Germany. Labour MP David Lammy yesterday branded the Grenfell Tower blaze ‘corporate manslaughter’ and demanded arrests be made.

This video from London, England says about itself:

17 June 2017

BBC interviewer Emily Maitlis on the Newsnight program has confronted UK Tory Party leader Theresa May over her pathetic response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and her refusal to accept responsibility for the disaster.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Jail those responsible for Grenfell Tower inferno

Join the million march to kick the Tories out

SEVENTY six people are still unaccounted for after the Grenfell Tower inferno, police confirmed yesterday and also that criminal proceedings have begun to investigate those responsible.

Met Police Commander Cundy said: ‘We as the police have started an investigation… The investigation will look into what criminal offences may have been committed. He however hastened to add – ‘I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offenses that have been committed.’

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham was more forthright: ‘If the preventable deaths of people burning in their homes are not a matter for the state, then what is?’ He added: ‘They were warned by the residents that there was an obvious risk of catastrophe. They looked the other way. We don’t need another review kicked into the long grass and years of equivocation – what a civilised country should demand is arrests and a criminal trial before a judge and jury.’

The Grenfell Tower tragedy is a class question and a product of the class division of society. The properties of the rich have all the health, safety and fire precautions necessary to keep them safe.

In the case of Grenfell Tower, there was no sprinkler system, no central alarm system, fire doors not fitted, cladding which seems to have spread the fire, only one stairwell and a fire policy which states ‘stay put’ in other words, the building was a death trap, a disaster waiting to happen.

There are 4,000 tower blocks in the UK, each and every one of them a potential Grenfell waiting to happen. Labour leader Corbyn went to the relief centres to speak to survivors and victim’s relatives and pointed to this class division. He said: ‘The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the country.

‘The ward where this fire took place is, I think the poorest ward in the whole country.’ He demanded: ‘And properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, in order to make sure those residents do get re-housed locally. It cannot be acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and luxury flats kept as land banking for the future while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.’

Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Of course there must be an inquiry but not a Tory government sponsored inquiry which covers up the facts.

After the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell in 2009, which tragically claimed the lives of six people, a special report was done by the all-Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and Rescue.

This report which was sat-on for four years, recommended that sprinklers be fitted in every tower block – these recommendations were ignored. To add insult to injury we now find out that one of the main people responsible for suppressing the report was none other than May’s right hand man, her now top advisor Gavin Barwell, he was Housing Minister at the time the report was published.

Reporters caught him on his way into Westminster yesterday morning demanding: ‘Why did you sit on the fire report? Could the deaths at Grenfell have been avoided? Do you plan to release the report anytime soon? Mr Barwell, are you going to release the report? Could Grenfell have been avoided?’

To which all he would say is ‘I can’t comment I’m afraid.’ A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy will not resolve this issue. What will resolve the issue is bringing down this Tory government, and establishing a Labour government pledged to socialist policies which will build safe, council housing for all and instruct the judiciary and police chiefs to undertake criminal proceedings to jail all those responsible for this mass murder of tenants.

Speaking at the annual conference of the food-workers union, the BFAWU, Labour Shadow Chancellor McDonnell said: ‘What we need now is the TUC mobilised, every union mobilised, to get out on the streets. Just think if the TUC put out that call – that we want a million on the streets of London in two weeks’ time.’

However, the TUC as usual has kept quiet about this huge issue. The food workers union decided to support a million strong march on July 1, assembling at BBC Broadcasting House at 12 noon to march on parliament to force the Tories to resign and bring in a Labour government. Make sure you are there!

This video from London, England says about itself:

17 June 2017

A Grenfell Tower protester has told the BBC in an interview that Theresa May is cold like fish, with her response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

He is correct; except he should not insult fish by comparing them to Theresa May.

A commenter to this video writes:

There once was a PM called May,
Who called an election one day,
She was woefully unable,
To be strong or stable
So she hid in the fields of hay

By Robert Stevens in England:

Corporate mass murder in London

17 June 2017

Shock and horror has boiled over into raw anger and fury. Thousands protested in London Friday to demand justice and the punishment of those responsible for mass murder in the worst housing fire in modern British history.

Hundreds chanting “We want justice” for the victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno surrounded Kensington Town Hall, London to demand answers from council officials who had barricaded themselves in the building.

Prime Minister Theresa May while visiting Kensington was forced to remain in a church and was then chased away—surrounded by a heavy security detail—with protesters booing and shouting “shame on you” and “coward.”

This sentiment finds its echo throughout Britain and worldwide.

Millions are horrified by the loss of at least 100 and as many as 150 lives of working class residents in Wednesday’s fire.

Most shocking of all, this took place in Kensington and Chelsea, Britain’s richest borough in one of the richest cities in the world. But like so many other areas of the capital, extreme wealth exists side-by-side with extreme deprivation.

Kensington and Chelsea is one of the most socially divided areas of London, with those living on the Lancaster West Estate, where Grenfell Tower is located, in clear view of the homes of multi-millionaires and billionaires. The most expensive street in the country, Victoria Road in Kensington, has an average house price of £8 million.

This imparts a politically explosive dynamic to unfolding events—which is why, incredibly, the police and council officials have stonewalled the appeals of resident’s families and friends and have still refused to admit the real death toll.

Grenfell is not only an appalling tragedy. It is a crime. Those whose lives were taken were murdered just as surely as if a torch had been applied to the building.

Ruthless cost-cutting with no concern for public safety laid the basis for the Grenfell deaths and ensured the devastating, rapid spread of the fire from its initial source in just a single apartment.

The fire spread so rapidly due to the cladding on the building bursting into flames. It was added last year in a “refurbishment.” On Friday, what many already suspected was confirmed when it was revealed that the insulating material used was combustible. It was chosen because it was £2 per square metre cheaper than a “fire resistant” alternative. The saving made amounted to just £5,000.

This and other equally life-threatening decisions were taken or authorised by the Conservative-run Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, who ran Grenfell Tower on its behalf. The tower block had no central fire alarm system, no sprinklers in place and just one exit stairwell. The authorities ignored repeated warnings from a tenants group and residents over many years who insisted that Grenfell was unsafe and a “death trap.”

Such flagrant criminality has deeper causes. The essential fact is that the Grenfell deaths are the product of class society and the “normal” workings of the capitalist system.

London is a world centre of speculation and financial parasitism. And the property market is a vital element of this global web of corruption. Land and housing in the capital have become one of the most lucrative commodities in the world. It is not only that London is home to 80 billionaires, but the fact that fully 60 percent of its skyscrapers and vast numbers of luxury houses and flats are owned by overseas companies or wealthy residents who rarely or never set foot in them.

Catering to this market demands the social cleansing of council estates of their poor residents, especially when they are located in a desirable area. This has become so routine that residents of the Lancaster West Estate are correct to insist that the failure to invest in Grenfell Tower was a deliberate effort to drive them out.

Similar equally anti-social decisions are made every single day by the money-mad oligarchy and their political flunkies who determine every aspect of people’s lives to ruinous effect. Homes and schools are rendered unsafe. Hospitals closed, beds lost, vital social services withdrawn because someone, somewhere decides they are an unacceptable drain on profit—which must be maintained at whatever cost.

Forty years after Margaret Thatcher declared, “There is no such thing as society,” in order to justify the gutting of social services, privatisation and deregulation, the social conditions facing the working class have been reduced to levels once associated the so called “third world.” This testifies to the immense class divide and social inequality that now exist in all capitalist countries.

On Thursday in the face of mounting public anger, May ordered a public inquiry into the Grenfell fire. This is aimed at ensuring a cover-up and the protection of those responsible—above all within her own government.

Those responsible for these deaths must be arrested and face criminal proceedings with the truth to come out in trials. Among these should be the former London mayor Boris Johnson, who is responsible for the slashing of London’s fire service and mass deregulation, and Kensington and Chelsea council leader Nick Paget-Brown.

But while leading Tory figures such as Johnson were responsible for the last wave of ultra-gentrification in the service of the super-rich, all the bourgeois parties, including Labour, which runs many of London’s councils, are equally culpable. …

It should be stressed that the death toll from Grenfell is expected to exceed the combined total resulting from every terrorist attack in the UK since the beginning of the so-called war on terror in 2001.

Whenever a terrorist attack has taken place in Britain over the last decade, the full force of the state has been brought to bear. Police have carried out raids on every person who is linked, even in the most innocuous way, to the individual terrorist. They have been immediately arrested and hauled off to be detained and grilled for days on end. In response to the Grenfell fire, not a single person in any responsible position has yet been arrested, let alone charged.

Instead we are promised a toothless inquiry!

Whatever the outcome of ongoing police investigations and public inquiry, neither will uncover the essential cause of the corporate mass murder at Grenfell because it is rooted in the failed capitalist system, which is reaping untold misery, and death and destruction against the vast majority of the planet’s population.

The appalling loss of life in London demonstrates the urgent necessity for the mobilisation of the working class behind a socialist programme and putting an end to the subordination of every aspect of social policy to the interests of the financial swindlers and parasites.

This video from London, England says about itself:

17 June 2017

Solicitor Sophie Khan in an interview with BBC Newsnight has stated that Theresa May’s announcement of a public inquiry in not right without a full scale criminal investigation and prosecution.

British Theresa May snubs Grenfell Tower disaster survivors

This video from London, England says about itself:

Lily Allen Interview with Jon Snow on the Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy

15 June 2017

Local resident Lily Allen talks to Jon Snow about the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy and raises questions about the role played by local councillors and the death toll number.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Tories silent on Grenfell disaster

Friday 16th June 2017

May avoids survivors and her government takes no action in wake of lethal tower fire

GOVERNMENT failures over the devastating Grenfell Tower fire show its guilt in stark contrast to hard-working members of the community pitching in to help the victims, locals told the Star yesterday.

PM Theresa May arrived at the scene of the council block blaze on Thursday and was criticised for her hands-off approach to the situation.

She had met firefighters and promised a full public inquiry into the tragedy that has seen 17 people confirmed dead so far since the fire broke out early on Tuesday morning, but did not speak to residents or any of those affected.

Apparently, Ms May was scared the survivors of this horrible disaster might say a few critical words to her about her government’s cuts in firefighting. Or about her fellow Conservatives of Kensington local council’s mismanagement of safety at Grenfell Tower, and their censorship of inhabitants warning that this week’s disaster would happen because of that.

Like Ms May had earlier been scared of debating Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other party leaders during the general election which she had called.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by contrast consoled them in their grief by offering hugs and words of comfort.

He has also spoken of his anger over fire precautions in the tower that did not work.

He added: “Kensington is a tale of two cities — it is among the wealthiest parts of this country but the ward where this took place is one of the poorest.

“The judge-led public inquiry must be speedy and all residents should have access to legal aid and the support they need.

“Residents must also be rehoused, using requisition of empty properties if necessary, in the community they love.”

Antoine Albert, who has lived in Ladbroke Grove all his life, spoke to the Star about the perceived indifference from Ms May and local government. He said: “This is what Theresa May does. She did a political drive-by. She came, she saw, and was gone.

“There’s no point in asking the government to do anything when they don’t do much. They had the opportunity to do something — but they didn’t, so we, the people, just get on with it.”

Mr Albert continued: “The responsibility goes to the very top. Someone is accountable for this and if they have done something deliberately, then they should go to prison.

“Because if it was the other way around, that would be the case — 100 per cent.

“There is a double standard and the Tory council and government’s silence is guilt.”

Mark Dunn, who grew up in the area, said it was astounding to see all people of all races and religions club together while council and government representatives were nowhere to be seen.

MC CKP said Grenfell tower was a “monument of austerity” for those that lived in it and in its shadow, and the deaths were a result of continuous cuts being made to proper building materials and fire safeguards until people’s lives were cut short.

The veteran garage MC added: “We watched 9/11 burn on television, we watched this tower burn on television.

“In both cases people were jumping out of buildings, they’re similar situations with different causes. You might as well say this is our 9/11.”

The local response to the horrific fire that ripped through dozens of floors within 15 minutes — which was said to be down to the flammable exterior cladding — has been nothing short of astounding.

Community centres and places of worship have been overwhelmed with donations and offers of help.

So much food has been donated to the centres, churches and mosques that piles of perishable items have been left on trestle tables for anyone to take home with them to avoid waste.

Theo, who works at a healthy-eating restaurant in nearby Kensal Rise, offered free cooked food that his team had made to passers-by and volunteers. He did not wish to reveal the name of the restaurant.

He told the Star: “I’m a local person, these are my people and everyone needs to eat.

“The chicken went immediately, of course. We saw that survivors and volunteers were given boxed sandwiches, and we thought we should do our bit to offer them something better.”

This video says about itself:

15 June 2017

British grimmer Akala speaks out about the tragic events that led to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and criticizes the Tory government for budget cuts and the failure to fix public housing in Britain.

The Guardian view on Grenfell Tower: Theresa May’s Hurricane Katrina. Editorial. The 2005 hurricane that devastated New Orleans exposed failings in leadership and a terrible disdain for the lives of the poor. The London fire is doing the same: here.

From Conservative weekly The Spectator, 15 June 2017:

Why on earth didn’t May meet or speak to any survivors of the fire, show some empathy in public, and promise them face-to-face that the government would look after them and get to the bottom of what nearly killed them? It would have perfectly rebutted the claim that the rich and powerful simply don’t care about the lives of poorer people who live in social housing.

She apparently didn’t speak to a single local about what had happened. This is exactly what Tory MPs, and indeed many voters, complained about during and after the election: May comes across as too cold and detached. In statements, she has said she wants to ‘reassure’ the residents of Grenfell Tower. Why not do that in the flesh? George Bush diverting Air Force One to fly over the scene of the Hurricane Katrina disaster springs to mind. Rightly, he was criticised as too distant from the misery below.

Grenfell Tower fire: Theresa May did not speak to us, angry resident tells Jeremy Corbyn: here.

As families of those still missing appealed for help in finding their loved ones, Prime Minister Theresa May visited the scene of a deadly fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, West London, on Thursday, but declined to meet survivors: here.

A lot of people are asking why Theresa May couldn’t spare time to meet Grenfell Tower residents: here.

From the Conservative Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2017:

Theresa May failed to show “humanity” when she refused to meet survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, a [Conservative] former cabinet minister has said.

Michael Portillo said the Prime Minister “didn’t use her humanity”when she visited the scene of the blaze yesterday.

In a scathing assessment of the Prime Minister, the former Conservative minister [Portillo] also said Mrs May was a “proven loser” and would not last in the job beyond September this year: here.

From the Huffington Post today:

Theresa May is facing a tide of anger after refusing to meet Grenfell Tower survivors when she visited the scene of the blaze this morning.

In stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn, who was pictured hugging and greeting residents, the Prime Minister was flanked by security as she viewed the devastation at the Kensington high-rise disaster.

But her ‘private’ visit meant she did not encounter residents, journalists or any members of the public – in a move some dubbed “appalling”.

One local resident called Kim said: “Our Prime Minister: where is she? She came and she didn’t speak to people. She got into a car full of police who took her down there.”

Kim added: “She didn’t speak to any of the local residents, the people who count. She wasn’t here for more than five minutes.

“She just came for a quick look around. She didn’t even want to come. This is just her protocol. She just wanted to look good.”

This video from London, England says about itself:

Ishmahil Blagrove Criticizes Mainstream Media Coverage of Grenfell Tower Tragedy

15 June 2017

Local resident Ishmahil Blagrove has stuck it to the mainstream media outside the Grenfell Tower disaster area, criticizing them for their lackluster coverage of the fire tragedy and their coverage of Jeremy Corbyn during the election campaign who promised to fix safety issues in public housing.

Theresa May faces a backlash after failing to meet the survivors of the Grenfell Tower blaze when she visited the scene: here.

‘THERESA May has faced heavy criticism for failing to meet survivors of the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze during a “private visit” to the scene of the devastation’, the Conservative Daily Express writes.

‘This is not okay’: Theresa May faces criticism for not meeting Grenfell Tower fire survivors: here.

‘Theresa May ‘broke down in tears’ but is slammed for making ‘private visit’ to devastation at Grenfell Tower – while Corbyn is seen hugging survivors just an hour later’, the Conservative Daily Mail writes.

Even Rupert Murdoch‘s pro-Conservative and viciously anti-Labour The Sun daily notes:

‘ABSOLUTE DISGRACE’ Theresa May slammed for not meeting Grenfell blaze victims as Jeremy Corbyn embraces locals at relief centre

What a contrast. Jeremy Corbyn went to speak to survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy after Theresa May was given a “private visit” of their devastated community: here.

The difference between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May’s visits to Grenfell tower in two pictures: here.

Adele can meet victims of Grenfell Tower, Theresa May can’t’: here.


Labour MP angrily brands Grenfell Tower tragedy ‘corporate manslaughter’. London MP David Lammy said there should be “arrests made” after the blaze which devastated the high-rise block: here. And here.

Many more would have died in London tower block blaze if it wasn’t for Ramadan: ‘These Muslim boys helped us’: here.

This video from London, England says about itself:

Grenfell Tower Survivor Praises Young Muslim Heroes For Running Into Burning Building Saving Lives

15 June 2017

A Grenfell Tower inferno survivor praises the efforts of local Muslim youth for running into the burning building in an effort to save as many lives as possible and for their efforts of mobilising the support of mosques from all over London to deliver supplies and support for all the victims of the tragedy.

British Conservatives threaten Grenfell Tower blogger for fire disaster warning

This video from Britain says about itself:

14 June 2017

LONDON fire action group posted warning on Grenfell Tower

An action group predicted the Grenfell Tower fire was an accident waiting to happen four years ago but claim their warnings fell on deaf ears.

The fire service confirmed this morning there had been a number of fatalities in the horrific blaze which was reported just after 1am today thought to have been caused by an exploding fridge.

It engulfed the 27-storey building where 600 people were said to be living in 120 rooms …

Grenfell Action Group said: ‘Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities.

‘We have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in [Conservative oparty ruled] Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

‘All our warnings fell on deaf ears. This was inevitable and just a matter of time.’

The group had been posting about their concerns of tower block‘s safety regularly calling for it to be torn down before it went up in flames in the early hours of this morning in White City.

Grenfell Tower is council-owned but the management of the building is down to an independent company – the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO).

Construction on the flats started in 1972 and was finished in 1974 when it was under complete council control, but in 1996, the KCTMO was handed the contract to manage the tower block.

A council spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘The Council still owns the properties and retains responsibility for strategic housing policies and homeless people.

‘The relationship between the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) and the Council is governed by a management agreement, which covers all areas of the landlord business.

‘Whilst the KCTMO still enjoys a close working relationship with the Council, it is a completely separate company.’

Robert Black is the company’s Chief Executive Officer and he took office in 2009 having previously worked as Executive Director of Service at Circle Anglia for five years where he was responsible for services for 45,000 homes across seven companies including asset management.

Barbara Matthews is the Executive Director of Financial Services and ICT, Yvonne Birch is the Executive Director of People and Performance and Sacha Jevans is the Executive Director of Operations.

They are the four most senior members of KCTMO and according to papers seen by MailOnline, they earned £650,000 between them last year.

All four have been contacted individually by MailOnline and the company has been asked to make a comment, but nobody was available to do so.

Chillingly, back in November, while addressing the … Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), the group wrote: ‘It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders.’

The action group believe the KCTMO have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates.

‘Unfortunately, the Grenfell Action Group have reached the conclusion that only an incident that results in serious loss of life of KCTMO residents will allow the external scrutiny to occur that will shine a light on the practices that characterise the malign governance of this non-functioning organisation.’

The tower block underwent a £10million refurbishment which was completed in May last year, and improvements included the installation of insulated exterior cladding, new double glazed windows and a new communal heating system.

The two year project, which was designed and delivered by KCTMO in partnership with Rydon Construction, was a complex one as it took place with all 120 flats occupied throughout the time period.

Rydon turns over a massive £270million by carrying out development, maintenance and management throughout England.

Talking of the refurbishment, Robert Black, KCTMO’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with the Council to deliver this major regeneration of the tower. …’

More than one resident has claimed that there was no central fire alarm system for the tower block – or it had failed – and only smoke alarms in individual flats were working.


Blogger gagged by [Conservative] council after warning about Grenfell Tower fire threat

14 June, 2017 16:09

A blogger who warned the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council of the dangers lurking in Grenfell Tower was threatened by local officials for writing about problems in the building.

Home to over 600 people, Grenfell Tower, in the Lancaster West estate, west London, was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The true scale of the tragedy is only gradually becoming clear.

As early as 2013, a man named Francis O’Connor, a member of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG), urged councillors and landlord Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO) to address the fire safety risks that new works on the building would cause.

GAG had several times tried to warn the council and the landlord that the building of a [private] school and gym next to the estate would restrict emergency services’ access, including firefighting vehicles.

But a leaked letter reveals that officials at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea tried to silence the campaigners, sending a lawyer to threaten O’Connor.

“I am instructed that you previously posted blogs that have in general been critical of everything that takes place at Lancaster West in relation to the Kensington Academy Leisure Centre and investment on the estate,” solicitor Vimal Sarna wrote to O’Connor in July 2013.

It then instructs the group to delete the blog – an order the group did not follow.

In 2016, an article on the blog chillingly predicts that only a tragedy would bring serious attention to the tower’s problems.

“It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders,” the post reads.

“It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice!”

But the scandal seems to reach beyond local council remit, as the Mirror reports that former Housing Minister Brandon Lewis “sat on” information about the several fire risks in buildings such as Grenfell Tower.

According to the newspaper, Lewis did not take action on safety irregularities on tower blocks over 30 meters tall because it could “discourage building.” Instead he shrugged off suggestions that sprinklers should be installed in the block. Other ministers are believed to have also known about the damning evidence.

Grenwell Tower number of people killed now 17 and rising.

17 ARE DEAD IN LONDON APARTMENT FIRE And emergency services now estimate the death toll could rise much higher as they search the building for bodies. Authorities believe the death toll would have been worse had Muslims who lived in the building not been up for Ramadan when the fire began and alerted neighbors to the blaze. And here’s why the inferno has exposed the apartment’s controversial history. [HuffPost]

Poor British Conservative Theresa May, satiric video

This satiric video from Britain says about itself:

Poor Theresa needs your help. Please, do what you can. 😢

13 June 2017

Theresa May needs your help after a dismal display in the General Election 2017 with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party making gains on the Conservatives.