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Dozens of poor residents were burned to death in a neglected block in Britain’s wealthiest district. The prime minister’s mishandling could help Jeremy Corbyn into power.


LONDON — They have not yet said it in public, but police and firefighters fear this week’s high-rise fire in West London is the most deadly British disaster in a generation.

The list of missing people stretches to 400. Officials say they believe the number of dead is lower than that because they have many instances of duplicated missing-persons reports—but the truth is they have no idea exactly how many people were crammed into the dangerous, outdated public-housing block that stands in London’s richest borough. The average price of a property (taking into account studios, larger apartments, and mansions) is over $1.5 million in Kensington and Chelsea. Neighbors include the royals William, Kate, and Harry.

Yet the poverty-stricken occupants of the doomed tower had begged the authorities to listen to their fears of a major fire for years.

Fed up and in despair, the Grenfell Action Group admitted defeat in November, comparing the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization to the regime of Kim Jong Un and predicting that only a devastating inferno would force their landlords to act.

“We have blogged many times on the subject of fire safety at Grenfell Tower and we believe that these investigations will become part of damning evidence of the poor safety record of the KCTMO should a fire affect any other of their properties and cause the loss of life that we are predicting,” they wrote last year.

A blaze that is believed to have started in an apartment on one of the lower floors engulfed the building within 20 minutes. Residents who called the emergency services were told to shelter in place rather than try to escape. The authorities now admit that they may never be able to identify some of those victims.

As the smoke and flames grew more intense, some people are believed to have leaped to their deaths from the burning building. Children were thrown from windows to be caught by the crowds below.
Unlike the private high-rises built for wealthier families and businesses in Central London, Grenfell had no sprinkler system and only one staircase. The Times reports Friday that the cladding used in a refurbishment last summer has been banned in the U.S. for use on high-rise buildings. Those overseeing the construction reportedly opted to buy the $28 panels instead of the $30 fireproof panels; that decision is estimated to have saved around $6,000 in total.

With sporadic fires still burning in the blackened remains of the building—where at least 30 people are confirmed to have died—Britain’s leading politicians arrived on the scene Thursday. Their instinctive approaches to the horror could hardly have been more different.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is trying to form a minority Conservative government after last week’s humbling election, refused to meet any of the survivors or members of the devastated community—presumably for fear of a hostile reception that would be captured by the cameras. Instead she met privately with the first responders who had risked their lives to deal with the blaze, then got back into her armored car and raced home to Downing Street.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s left-wing leader, took an altogether different approach. He was seen hugging survivors, taking questions from infuriated residents, and demanding action to re-house those who have lost everything. As one woman broke down in tears sharing her fears for a missing 12-year-old girl, Corbyn put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her in tight. Another woman told Corbyn: “Theresa May was here but she didn’t speak to any of us. She was shit.”

Just as she flunked her first prime ministerial election campaign, May has misread the mood of the public.

She has called for a full public inquiry into the fire, but the righteous anger brought to the fore by an avoidable catastrophe on this scale cannot be quelled so easily. Her failure to meet those affected by the disaster has drawn inevitable comparisons to George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Portillo, the former deputy leader of the Conservative party, said she should have been with the residents. “Alas Mrs. May has been what she has [been like] for the last five or six weeks. She wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn't use her humanity,” he told the BBC.

With May’s grip on power so weak after an election, the Conservatives are terrified that Corbyn’s populist Labour Party stands on the brink of power. If the minority government falls, it is now possible to imagine that Labour would secure the most seats in an upcoming election.

Emboldened by last week’s results in which 40 percent of voters backed a radical left-wing Labour manifesto, Corbyn raised the prospect of seizing empty houses owned by foreign investors in order to shelter those families who were burned out of their homes high above London’s billionaire paradise.

“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,” Corbyn said in the House of Commons on Thursday. “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.”
His words will seem appealing to many when set against the apparently unmoved Conservatives.

Last year, Labour tabled an amendment to a housing bill that would require private landlords to ensure the properties they were renting out were “fit for human habitation.” It was voted down by the Conservatives, who argued that the move would force up rents.

The law change would not have affected public housing like the tower that caught fire this week, but it has captured the mood. According to Parliament’s register of interests, 72 of the MPs who voted against the amendment were landlords themselves. A list of those MPs became popular on social media last year and the roll call of shame has returned with a vengeance in the days since the flames swept through Grenfell.

To make matters worse for the Conservatives, Gavin Barwell was the housing minister until this month, and he failed to deliver a promised review into fire risks in high-rise buildings. May appointed him as her new chief of staff just four days before the devastating fire.

Helped by May’s clumsy politicking, Labour unexpectedly succeeded in turning the London Bridge terror attack into a debate about cuts to public services. The same issues are being debated in Britain today, not least since Conservative cuts—overseen by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London—have resulted in drastic reductions in the fire service. In London alone, 10 fire stations have been closed down, 27 fire engines scrapped, and 600 firefighting jobs have been lost since 2010.

With the economy already straining under the threat of Brexit, Britain could be ready to usher in the most left-wing government in its history.


Scenes from the Grenfell Tower fire coverage continues to distress the country. Shocking accounts of witnesses and residents describing how they loss their loved ones and escaped the fire themselves, have been etched into the memory of the United Kingdom. But the most disconcerting reality people are having to live with is that this tragedy could have been avoided.

Whilst there have been dozens of community testimonies describing the lack of fire safety, the inferno has also brought into light the gaping inequality between rich and poor. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are of the most affluent areas in the world, yet this man-made disaster took place upon poor people living in the same place. The borough is among London’s most unequal, with extreme poverty and wealth living side by side. Data shows that the vicinity of the tower was among the top 10% most deprived areas in England in 2015, ranking alongside parts of Bradford and south Tyneside.

According to the English Indices of Deprivation, there were 11 so-called lower super output areas (LSOAs) in Kensington and Chelsea that ranked in the poorest decile in the country. On the other hand, 14 areas in the local authority were among the 30% least deprived. The data also revealed that Grenfell Tower and its surroundings are in the most deprived 20% of areas in England for employment and living environment. Also, the most deprived 30% for health deprivation and disability and the most deprived 40% for crime.

Residents in places like Grenfell Tower do not enjoy the same privileges like their other wealthy neighbours are granted. Residents repeatedly voiced concerns about fire safety in Grenfell Tower, including that there was only one escape route and no building-wide fire alarm or sprinkler system. They say their concerns were “brushed away” by the Kensington and Chelsea tenant management organisation, which manages thousands of properties for the council.

One of the main reasons for this economic inequality is because the rich have huge influence upon political leadership and political institutions. British government’s have overwhelmingly served the interests of the wealthy to the detriment of ordinary people. The concerns of the poor like those at Grenfell Tower were ignored but this is not the same for the wealthy in the borough. 

The rich have been able to preserve such a status quo as the lowest tax rates, the best health and education and the best housing and surroundings to live. Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, privilege and disadvantage will continue down the generations. 

The idea that wealth will simply trickle-down automatically to the poor, by focusing on growth, has proven to be false. Today eight people own the same amount of wealth as half of the world’s population. This stark reality isn’t simply due to policy, it’s due to the flawed Capitalism system that’s built upon a flawed economic philosophy.  

In contrast to Capitalism, where the aim of the game is to produce the most wealth, the primary aim of the Islamic economic system is to fulfil the basic needs of society by ensuring the circulation of wealth. Its goal is to ensure that the basic needs of every citizen are fulfilled, not simply to create perpetual economic growth that only some people benefit from. Moreover, Islam does not allow the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. Islam has a wealth based taxation system that ensures only those with surplus wealth are taxed. According to the rules of Shariah by implementing the Zakat system, rules of distribution of lands, prohibiting hoarding and interests (riba), Islam will close the door of unjust accumulation of wealth definitively. 

Islam will ensure fair distribution of wealth through strict Shariah principals so that economic development will be enjoyed by the society as a whole. It was the system of the Khilafah which freed people from the never-ending misery of man-made economies in and led them to a life where their basic needs like housing were fulfilled. 

Islam does not tolerate gross division in society where one group of people enjoy profits and other people do not have their basic living conditions met. It will also not permit putting profits over safety as we have seen with the Grenfell tower where cheaper material was used that was more flammable so that the more money could be saved. Grenfell Tower will no doubt trigger a national debate. As Muslims, our duty is to ensure Islam as an alternative way of life is presented as part of this debate.

“And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.


The horrific Grenfell Tower inferno has shook all the communities in the UK. Harrowing stories by eye-witnesses and neighbours have left emotional scars which will take time to manage and heal. Witnesses were helpless and desperately watching their friends and families stuck inside a 24-story building. This terrifying experience is not a position any human should have to face. We express our deepest condolence to the victims and to the hundreds who have lost their homes. As to those who lost their lives we remind them of the saying of our beloved Prophet  “Someone who dies by fire is a martyr, someone who dies under a falling building is a martyr” Al-Muwatta.

Our hearts are warmed by the amazing community response. The community including Mosques opened their doors to those that needed shelter and comfort. There has also been a number of fundraising iniatives to provide financial support to those affected and we encourage everyone to contribute towards this.

This is a shocking incident and the public have, rightly so, raised questions about the duties of the government in keeping people safe in social housing like Grenfell Towers in disbelief to how such an incident could occur.

Theresa May’s new chief of staff Gavin Barwell was one of a series of housing ministers who “sat on” a report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire for four years. A former Chief Fire Officer and secretary of a parliamentary group on fire safety revealed successive ministers had damning evidence on their desks since 2013 and nothing had happened.  Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister, promised to review part B of the Building Regulations 2010, which relate to fire safety, but the review never materialised. The government minister warned against enhancing fire safety rules to include sprinklers because it could discourage house building.

A Coroner’s report into a 2009 blaze in London recommended building regulations be updated, and called for developers refurbishing high-rise blocks to be encouraged to install sprinkler systems.

But five years later, former Housing Minister Brandon Lewis told MPs: “We believe that it is the responsibility of the fire industry, rather than the Government, to market fire sprinkler systems effectively and to encourage their wider installation.”

He said the Tory government had committed to being the first to reduce regulations nationwide, pledging a one in-two out rule.

He added: “The cost of fitting a fire sprinkler system may affect house building—something we want to encourage—so we must wait to see what impact that regulation has.”

Kensington is a famously prosperous area of London with an extremely high number of properties worth £1m or more, however this did not happen in a block of luxury flats. It happened in a high-rise building on a council estate. Council housing which is in shocking conditions.

Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is the company which the people who lived at Grenfell Tower had complained about for many years.
The Grenfell Action Group residents’ association had consistently warned about the possibility of such a tragedy citing very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The British Government has consistently voted against tenants’ rights over the last few years, even voting down a bill requiring landlords to make their homes fit for habitation. Also it was the British government that drove the loss of 7,000 firefighters over the last five years.

The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the epitome of Capitalism. The area is characterised by widening inequality with some of the poorest in London, nearly side by side with billionaire homes.

Dent Coad is an architectural historian and writer who has campaigned against gentrification in the area for the last 11 years in the Borough. She said about the boroughs poverty,  “You can’t always see it by walking around because the council sanitises it by sweeping the streets, pruning the trees and planting hanging baskets. But we have one estate, Henry Dickens Court, that is poorer than the Gorbals and 58% of children live in poverty.”
She further said: “We have areas of extreme poverty. Golborne ward, with the fabulous Trellick tower and Golborne market and all its trendiness, is the joint poorest ward in London. People are getting poorer, their income is dropping, life expectancy is dropping and their health is getting worse. There is no trickle down in Golborne ward and there is no trickle down anywhere in Kensington”

Investigations and reports will now be  conducted however it needs to be explicitly clear – this tragedy is the responsibility of the Government. Under it’s watch it has rejected safety reports and the concerns of residents living in shabby and dangerous conditions. They did this in favour of property development, building properties with the sole aim of reducing costs and maximising profit.

People and their housing needs are not a priority in a system that would rather provide opportunities for billionaires to build swimming pools, rather than place fire sprinklers in social housing.

Indeed the system in Britain is for the rich elite, not for the common man, woman or child.

Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra) said, “If a lost sheep under my care were to die on the banks of the Euphrates, I would expect Allah the Exalted to question me about it on the Day of Resurrection.” [Hilyat al-Awliya, 137]

CounterPunch 16 June 2017

Neither oversight, negligence, nor malfeasance lies at the root of the Glenfell Tower fire in West London. Strip away the sickening obfuscation and platitudes, peddled by the usual coterie of confected politicians, and the roots of this disaster lie in the virulent disdain, bordering on hatred, of poor and working class people by the rich in a society which in 2017 is a utopia for the few and a dystopia for far too many.

What will future historians say about a culture in which there is more than enough money to pay for nuclear weapons, to finance the bombing of other countries, to fund tax cuts for the rich, but not enough to provide decent housing for people whose only crime is that they happen to be poor and on low incomes? Given the scathing nature of the evidence, it’s a fair bet that the verdict issued will be a scathing one —and rightly so.

If this mind numbingly awful event do not mark the end of 7 long years of callous cruelty that describes the previous and current Tory government—unleashed in obeiscance to the god of austerity—then nothing will and we deserve to end up in the abyss where, make no mistake, we are headed unless we rise up with a collective and resounding cry of “No more!”

No more living in a country in which cruelty has been raised to the level of a virtue and compassion relegated to the status of a vice, in which foodbanks, benefit sanctions, zero hours contracts, homelessness, and crumbling public services are justified on the basis of moral rectitude and fiscal responsibility, when in truth they are symptoms of the class war unleashed by the Tories on working people and which up to now working people have been losing.

The hollowing out of the state, deregulation, the near free rein accorded to property developers and private landlords, all at the expense of people’s wellbeing and safety, is tantamount to a crime committed by the rich people who govern us in the interests of other rich people. Don’t politicise the Grenfell Fire, they tell us. Are they serious? Are they having a laugh? This event is verily dripping in politics. Indeed it could not be any more political, coming as it does as the logical conclusion of decades of under investment in social housing that is a badge of shame and refutes any claim by Brexit Britain to the status of a civilised country.

Theresa May speaking to emergency services personnel at the Grenfell Tower scene on Thursday. (Source: BuzzFeed)

The one hope we can cling onto is that despite the inordinate and sustained efforts by the Tories and their rancid media cohort to pit working and poor people against one another in recent years—Muslim against non-Muslim, low waged against unwaged, migrant against non-migrant, refugee against native—it has failed. Out of Grenfell, along with the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, has come incontrovertible evidence of the innate solidarity of people of every background, ethnicity, faith, and creed when the chips are down. The outpouring of kindness, support, and humanity in response stands as a rebuke to those who want us to believe there is no such thing as society, that we are not connected by a common humanity but instead are merely a vast agglomeration of individuals, just like so many atoms spinning in the air.

Then, too, as a further rebuke to these rotten Tory values we have our emergency services. Made up of men and women who have no hesitation in risking their lives when tragedy strikes, they deserve better than a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich and so do we. They stand in sharp contrast to a Prime Minister who cannot even summon the decency to face angry and traumatised residents during her recent visit to the scene of what bears all the hallmarks not of a disaster or a tragedy but a crime.

In memory of those who perished and whose deaths are indistinguishable from the fact they were poor and working class, let Grenfell be the line over which Tory greed and mendacity does not pass. Yes Theresa May you are right: enough is enough.


People of color, the working class and poor have been negatively impacted by British economic and housing policy

Authorities in London, England announced on June 19 that 79 deaths have been officially recorded resulting from a fire which quickly swept through the Grenfell housing complex in North Kensington on June 13-14.

Immediately after the fire erupted many media outlets began to raise serious questions about the level of safety and preparedness inside the building. Residents through their organizations had complained for several years about concerns related to the lack of sprinklers, fire alarms and effective maintenance of the structure. Apparently these complaints were not addressed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Council which is said to be the owners of the flats.

Hundreds of residents and their supporters attempted to storm the RBKC Council proceedings on June 16 demanding answers to their questions. The doors of the building where the Council was meeting were locked as demonstrators rallied outside.

Residents and their family members who were interviewed by the press spoke to the abject failure of the owners and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization which was supposed to oversee the conditions in the building. These entities did not provide proper fire prevention and rescue operation protocols at Grenfell Towers. After the fire started some residents reported that they were instructed by municipal employees to remain within the building.

Nonetheless, hundreds of the residents were able to escape without being severely injured. Others remain in hospital with some under critical care. Later people rendered homeless went to makeshift relief centers seeking food, clothing, water, blankets and counseling. Volunteers from throughout the community donated supplies and food to the affected residents.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan visited the area of the fire the following day and was met with loud protests by residents and community members. The criticism centered on the absence of information related to transitional housing, clothing and food. Other concerns voiced by residents were the desire of many who were burned out that they could remain in the same neighborhood. Impacted tenants felt that these issues were not satisfactorily addressed by municipal and national governmental officials.

Grenfell Tower Council protest on June 16, 2017 (Source: Abayomi Azikiwe)

British Prime Minister Theresa May was admonished as well for failing to meet with residents and their families. She did visit the fire scene however the prime minister only spoke with firefighters and the police. Later she visited some of the injured victims in hospital.  Eyewitnesses, Community Organizations and Experts Blame Authorities for Disaster.

Even the state-sponsored British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) could not conceal or minimize the culpability of the municipal officials in creating the conditions for the fire and subsequent deaths. Although North Kensington is considered a high-income area of London undergoing rapid gentrification, there are still large numbers of marginalized residents many of whom are from people of color communities with heritages in Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Middle East.

This racialized aspect of the disaster at Grenfell Tower became evident to readers and viewers of the media since a disproportionate number of people being interviewed were from nationally oppressed groups and the lower rungs of the working class. Anger is burgeoning among these groups who are saying the fire, its swift expansion, and the resulting injuries and deaths, were unnecessary. The general consensus is that if adequate safety precautions had been taken the fire may have never started or been confined to a small area of the housing block.

According to a post on the Grenfell Action Group website hours after the fire erupted, it says:

“Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences (go out) to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones. Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC. ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.” (

The channeling of marginalized and oppressed groups into what is called “social housing” in Britain is clearly a manifestation of the class and racial oriented approach to urban planning that permeates London and other major cities. Many of these social housing complexes are located in ageing buildings which have been refurbished in recent years utilizing substandard materials creating a tinderbox.

Experts have cited the use of cladding at Grenfell Tower as a possible cause of the rapid spread of the fire. With this being a 24-story building firefighters did not have the equipment to reach the higher levels of the structure leaving people helpless in the face of imminent death.

Although higher-income housing developments are within the same general area as Grenfell Tower, the safety of the poor and working class residents are not treated with the same sense of urgency and necessity. Despite the fact that residents had repeatedly expressed their fears related to structural problems within the block no serious efforts by the municipal authorities were enacted.

Bloomberg, one of the world’s most widely-read financial publications, admitted in a report written by Leonid Bershidsky on the tragedy at Grenfell Tower that:

“As in much of Europe, the use of tower blocks as public housing in the U.K. began in the 1950s with a decision to provide public subsidies based on building height. The 1965 Housing Subsidy Act spawned 4,500 tower blocks by 1979. It wasn’t a great idea for a lot of social reasons. By the end of the 1970s, a growing body of research showed that the social alienation of living in a high-rise increased psychological stress, that toxic materials used in industrial construction and insufficient thermal insulation led to health problems, and that widespread crime and disaffection was linked to the faulty urban planning.” (June 16)

Placing low-income residents from oppressed groups in high-rise tower blocks serves two obvious purposes. The buildings serve as a mechanism to contain the demographic shift of British and other European municipalities restricting the geographic spread of people of color communities.

From a financial perspective, by concentrating African, Asian, Middle Eastern and other working class residents in confined spaces where maintenance and safety costs are de-emphasized, it provides the capacity for urban governments to channel tax revenue as incentives for private housing and commercial developments which is far more lucrative for corporations which specialize in these projects. What remains to be seen is whether the British government will learn from this calamitous event providing policy imperatives to construct housing units which are safer and more humane for the working poor and immigrants.

Tower Block Fire Compounds Political Crisis for the Conservative Government

Prime Minister Theresa May had good reason not to want to meet residents of Grenfell Towers and their neighbors. A recent election in the country, which many political pundits say was unnecessary, resulted in the Conservative Party losing its absolute majority in parliament forcing the ruling group to seek an alliance with the small Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to form a government. The prime minister could not afford to be seen on British and world television being heckled and denounced.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to members of the fire service as she visits Grenfell Tower 
(Source: New Statesman)

It is questionable whether May will be able to survive in her position in the coming weeks and months. Britain has been the site in recent months of several high-profile terrorist attacks in London and Manchester where many people have died.

On June 18, a crowd of Muslims coming from the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London were targeted by a white racist who drove his van into pedestrians. One person died in the attack and several others were seriously injured. People in the area said the assailant remarked that he was intent on killing Muslims.

The following day on June 19, Britain began negotiations with the European Union (EU) over its delinking from the continental organization. Brexit stemmed from another miscalculated election in June 2016 where the voters decided to withdraw from the EU, costing former Prime Minister David Cameron his position and triggering a recession inside the country due to the economic uncertainty going into the future.

Britain along with other western capitalist states will continue to experience political instability in light of the growing class and sectional differences among the populations. As long as the wealthy elites enhance their status with disregard for the majority of the people within society, the mounting social contradictions will undoubtedly prompt further economic turbulence and protracted ideological conflict.





The Grenfell Tower Block fire in London is a predictable consequence of policies that can be traced to Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as those of David Cameron and Theresa May, says former financial regulator Bill Black












FULL BBC Newsnight interview



Despite the grieving, anger and despair amongst residents suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) this event took place on Saturday June 24th at the Gren Fell tower amidst shocking scenes, disorder and cowardice from different interests which will be revealed some day. 

Suffice to state the main demand reverberating in the vicinity was that justice had to be done despite the massive security presence. This can only mean the mass resignation of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council and the UK Cabinet for abdication and dereliction in their public duty for the safety and security of citizens and their failure to listen and act on their legitimate concerns. 



Global Vision 2000 speakers rally residents and activists to organise and demand justice on Saturday 17th June to organise and demand justice at Gren Fell Tower. Anyone reading this with any conscience should cancel their routine and comfort zone and get out from being an internet armchair critic. Go out see, feel, touch and smell SATANIC BRITAIN in action. An uncanny haunting portrait of a burnt tower with burnt charred bodies(inclusive of children) cordoned off like a death camp and the stench of death stalking the area with pictures of missing persons. It becomes mandatory to do what we did and indeed we need to do it better and more organised. If you want to join the forthcoming ARMY OF TRUTH and JUSTICE join us next Saturday. Otherwise forums like this are useless. As the Gren Fell survivor shouted at the lawyers meeting go away if you are here just for the ride rather than bringing those who commit manslaughter to justice for their abominable crimes. The time to go away or join the battle is dawning. The time to look in the mirror of your being has come. 

It is clear that something is terribly wrong there as there was no police or local authority or housing agency emergency help centre to give updates, advice, support and counselling for a deeply traumatised community. It was a no go zone cordoned off and public transport especially trains were cutoff from the destroyed building which made it difficult for outsiders like me to attend. 

We did what we could to demand the truth to come out , seek accountability and justice at the meeting and at the satanic inferno site. Only one word describes the crime scene and everything going on there- 


Nothing less than an evil wicked criminal corporate public act of manslaughter resulting in social and ethnic cleansing took place. 


One of the 10 Commandments was spectacularly violated for all to see. This is deeply embedded in the human psyche and someone has to get the message out to the nation and warn nothing less than the future of the nation is at stake. A huge crime has been committed violating natural law and justice has to be meted. If not our society is heading down the road of tyranny and self destruction. 

Is our society FIT FOR PURPOSE and has it lost it's RAISON D'ETRE if these criminals are not caught. It can't even lay it's hands on criminals such as Saville because of shielding so what hope for the martyrs? We are facing as a nation a moment of truth as we confront the implications of the SATANIC INFERNO. Only an INQUEST NOT AN INQUIRY can get to the bottom of this. But No.10 has diverted the truth already with an INQUIRY. 

A reckoning is coming and it is looming on the horizon. Also is this a forewarning of what will happen in a WW3 scenario with the UK population facing nuclear war with a NATO/RUSSIA clash. What will be the fate of Brits and who will be allowed to escape underground with Crossrail? 

There was NO sign of the mainstream media MSM or is it PRESSTITUTES at the public meeting or street rally. What are the media vans waiting for is it riots to spark like Tottenham 2011? The media is still spewing that 30 maybe 70 plus are dead nothing like like the 150-200 perished quoted by locals. This means that there is a strict command and control censorship operation going on by the police-media-council-government. So there appears a continuation of covering up of the truth. 

This is the easiest point in attacking the authorities on their lies just now and that site was a criminal manslaughter site. Fear runs riot locally and nationally as tower residents up and down the country are living in similar conditions. The bottom line is that other than short term solutions on fire and building safety standards and regulations and cash and re-housing. What GREN FELL needs and demands is justice but in a DIS-UNITED Kingdom that is a rare commodity as it is like having a dialogue between the deaf, dumb and blind. The meeting recommended a legal and political united strategy to deal with this emergency. 

So the call at the street rally was made for the criminals to be identified and brought to justice and if necessary the people will have to unite in a 1 million man/woman march lockdown of the city to establish the rule of law and justice. 
Welcome to a hot summer Britain 2017


Embattled council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown has quit - but Sadiq Khan says the whole council needs to be taken over.
Friday 30 June 2017 

Video: Council leader's full resignation statement
Andy Hayes, News Reporter

Sadiq Khan has called for Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council to be taken over by commissioners following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Mr Khan's call came not long after council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown said he would be stepping down due to "perceived failings" over its response to the disaster. The council came under increased pressure after its first cabinet meeting since the fire was halted abruptly on Thursday evening when journalists won access.

Video: Grenfell council meeting scrapped as reporters win access

In a letter to Theresa May, the London Mayor said: 

"Following yesterday evening's shambolic council cabinet meeting, it is self-evident that the leadership of the council has lost the trust of local residents.

"Therefore, I believe the government has no option but to immediately appoint commissioners to take over the running of council.  Mr Khan added: "It is also clear that a change in leadership from amongst the existing councillors will not address this situation - in fact it may aggravate it further, as it fails to address the fundamental breakdown in trust that has taken place."

Image: Mr Khan described the council meeting over the Grenfell disaster as 'shambolic'

Announcing his resignation, Mr Paget-Brown said: 

"The Grenfell Tower fire has been possibly the worst tragedy London has seen since the end of the Second World War. "Nobody will ever forget what they saw that day and the horror that ensued for people trapped inside." Mr Paget-Brown added: "This council has been criticised for failing to answer all the questions that people have. That is properly a matter for the public inquiry.  "As council leader I have to accept my share of responsibility for these perceived failings.

Video: Fury as council halts Grenfell Tower meeting

"In particular, my decision to accept legal advice that I should not compromise the public inquiry by having an open discussion in public yesterday has itself become a political story, and it cannot be right that this should have become the focus of attention when so many are dead or unaccounted for. I have therefore decided to step down as leader of the council as soon as a successor is in place."

Deputy leader Rock Feilding-Mellen is also stepping down, saying he would "of course co-operate in full with the public inquiry".  Labour councillor Robert Atkinson, whose ward includes Grenfell Tower, told Sky News his reaction to Mr Paget-Brown's resignation was "one of relief", adding that "perhaps the council can now start to organise itself to provide the services that the residents so desperately need".

Mr Atkinson said Mr Paget-Brown had "totally failed in the leadership role in the time since the disaster happened".

Video: Council boss right to go over 'failed' leadership

Earlier, the chief executive of the group that manages Grenfell Tower resigned.

Robert Black, chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, agreed to step aside to "concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry", a statement by the group said.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn has written to Theresa May demanding a broader public inquiry into the tragedy.
The Labour leader says he was "concerned to hear Sir Martin Moore-Bick indicate that the Terms of Reference for the inquiry will be narrow". Mr Corbyn quotes Sir Martin, who is leading the inquiry, as saying it would be "pretty well limited to the problems surrounding the start of the fire and its rapid development".

Image: Jeremy Corbyn at the scene of the disaster on 15 June with local Labour MP Emma Dent Coad

The Labour leader adds: "Reaching a full understanding of how and why this fire started and spread is obviously of the utmost importance.

"However, it is clear to me from talking to Grenfell residents that their concerns and questions stretch beyond these narrow terms.

"I would be grateful for clarification as to who so instructed Sir Martin Moore-Bick and how his comments are compatible with the Queen's Speech commitment that residents and families of the deceased be consulted on the terms of reference for the inquiry."
Colin Prescod and Daniel Renwick 

The Grenfell Tower inferno throws up all the contradictions between community self-help and resistance and an uncaring state. 

Fire this time
Memorial to the Grenfell victims (Credit: Colin Prescod)
These walls bear witness. ‘Justice’, ‘pity the poor’, ‘fuck the local authority’s Tenants Management Organisation’s, gentrification serving, class-cleansing deception’, they shout. And poignantly, still faintly echoing down the years, from half a century ago, they say, disturbingly, ‘Keep Britain White’.

It’s June 2017, and from the corner of Blechynden Street and Bramley Road, London W10, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) spectating hundreds and thousands in procession, take in the awesome and awful sight of the burnt out, inner-city housing estate tower, Grenfell. This is North Kensington, aka Ladbroke Grove, aka Notting Hill, land of London’s famous Caribbean-defined Carnival, home to some of the richest plots in the world, historic site of criminal neglect of the poor, overseered by local and national state functionaries ? from ghetto of the working-class poor in the 1950s, to ghetto of the super rich in the present day.

The exploitative and racketeering landlords of the 1950s (Rachman the most notorious of them) have been displaced and replaced by early twenty-first century ‘non-governmental organisation’ (NGO) landlords, contracted by the state. In the 1950s the insult and injury visited on new migrant-settler workers from Britain’s Caribbean colonies by racketeering landlords was part and parcel of broader racist attacks on Black working people ? where poor White working- class residents of Blechynden and other streets were stirred and directed to attack their new Black neighbours ? by, amongst others, Oswald Mosley and Colin Jordan. Today, institutionalised discrimination and xeno-racist brutalisation of the newest non-White migrant-settler working people are routinely administered by state functionaries, and include the provision of sub-standard and deathly public housing estates.

It’s the fire this time that exposes the underbelly of the metropolis, showing the savage menace under which the complaining poor have lived for decades ? the sub-standard health and safety traps inhabited by the new poor, the servants and servicers of the nouveau riche, cheek by jowl with their callous wealthy better-offs.

Fire debris from Grenfell (Credit: Daniel Renwick)
From Tuesday 13 through to Thursday 15 June 2017 a huge fire turned the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block into an inferno that displaced and killed hundreds of residents – to date, over eighty dead or missing, officially; up to 200 missing say families and residents. The fire started on a lower floor and raced up and through the building. The record shows that building safety experts and inspectors warned, in 2014, that the insulation used in Grenfell Tower, and which fuelled the June 2017 fatal fire, had to be used with non-combustible cladding. But on Grenfell Tower combustible polyethylene-filled panels were installed on top of synthetic insulation (Cellotex RS500) made from polyiso-cyanurate, which burns when exposed to heat and gives off cyanide fumes. Yet, the RBKC’s building control team certified that the building work on Grenfell ‘complied with the relevant provisions’. And council building inspectors had visited the site on sixteen occasions between 2014 and 2016.

There is already accumulating evidence of thoughtless and corrupt official practice, along with wilful dismissal and neglect of serious concern voiced by Grenfell residents and neighbours over many years. Indeed, from these people who were reduced to depending on community self-help as the first reliable level of support in the wake of the devastating fire, there is more than a suggestion that this Grenfell killer fire may well constitute a race and class ‘hate crime’ committed by the wealthy and powerful against the relatively poor and marginalised.

Street art in RBKC (Credit: Colin Prescod)

Gentrification and a culture of contempt
The Grenfell Tower disaster occurred, arguably, because redevelopment policies allowed for kindling, fuel and toxic materials to be wrapped around the homes of working-class people. The combustible cladding scandal has taken on national proportions, but the crime of Grenfell must be accounted for locally, both in the telling of the story of how this happened, and in the pursuit of justice. And after all the criminality will have been laid out, and the people taken stock of the totality of what is to be done in response to the failures of the state, a wholly new politics appears to be called for? a politics infused with the traditions of the area’s radical past. RBKC’s decisions ? from the cladding and insulation work, to a brand new school being built upon the block’s car park ? should indict those in positions of authority. Evidently, they thought it expedient to gamble with lives, despite having the deepest pockets of any local authority in the country. Needless austerity and rule by accountants contributed to making Grenfell Tower into a death trap where a fire could rage unabated ? making it hotter than a crematorium furnace.

How do individuals and families immediately affected recover? How does local community recover itself? Back in the last century the turnaround after the racist insult and embarrassment of the 1950s saw the then North Kensington local Black-and-White community achieve a degree of everyday non-racist conviviality ? ironically, in the longer-term, making North Kensington/the Grove/Notting Hill a choice des-res locality for, first, the hip, and later, the moneyed middle classes and, now, the new gentry. How, today, does this neighbourhood and its wider community come back?

Street art in RBKC (Credit: Colin Prescod)
To ask residents in the borough about the Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation’s (KCTMO) track record is to receive reports of a litany of examples of dismissal with contempt. Cease and desist orders were sent to those uppity enough to call out the council and KCTMO on their class warfare. These same people who were told to shut up either had their homes destroyed, or were killed in them. This is part and parcel of a bigger story of social and political abuse. A detailed reading of the residents’ GAG (Grenfell Action Group) blog reveals that it is no coincidence that the blaze took so many lives from the poorest part of the richest borough. A Freedom of Information (FoI) request revealed that in 2010 the RBKC’s radical redevelopment plan would have bulldozed the entirety of the Lancaster West estate. GAG contends that it was only the economic crisis that derailed the plans. ‘When and if the housing market eventually recovers we fully expect them to revert to type and come after the rest of Lancaster West’, the blog states. With its redevelopment hampered, the local authority treated Grenfell Tower as an eyesore. Developers turned to the device of prettification by cladding. As one local known as Rhymes put it, ‘They tried to get rid of Grenfell Tower, the community resisted, so they covered it in flammable materials instead’. Gentrification kills, as the pyre of Grenfell testifies.

Long before the fire, Grenfell was recognised as a site of people’s resistance in North Kensington. GAG formed part of a cluster of local resistance networks and social movements that challenged the asset stripping of the area. Community provisions were being put on the auction blocks of a fire sale. The communities that make up North Kensington campaigned to defend their colleges, libraries, nurseries, community centres and open spaces. The alliance of council, big developers and non-state functionaries ? like the KCTMO and Westway Trust – which planned to target spaces, denounced the campaigners. The Westway Trust’s plans to redevelop the spaces under and adjacent to the A40 fly-over were publicly challenged, and the Trust’s CEO Angela McConville called off one public meeting with the Westway23 campaign group on grounds of looking after the well being of staff, in effect labelling the campaigners as violent.

Communities against embedded injustice
Volunteer-led community support (Credit: Daniel Renwick)
It is within and against this culture of contempt that Grenfell stands, and where resistance and autonomy have taken root. With the onset of the assault on the Grenfell poor came the resurgence of calls for community self-organisation and collectivism. Immediately disaster struck in North Kensington, a volunteer-led relief and support system was up – even as the state’s working processes stalled. And the voluntary relief effort has fuelled a demand for change, to the effect that for those who operate around a duty of care, care should be a statutory requirement. Direct democracy is becoming a demand. Those bogged down in the logistics of sorting emergency aid and care packages are conscious of working towards something not unrelated to the call for ‘a republic’ (which first emerged decades ago in ‘Frestonia’, just around the corner from Grenfell). This idea, now re-surfaced, underlines the fact that where the state has failed, true community-care has stepped in. North Kensingtonians now know that the conditions under which life flourishes are not provided by the state and its functionaries. There has been a ‘rupturing of the status quo’, as the French-Algerian philosopher Alain Badiou might put it. The violence of the state has been revealed and temporarily removed, and, therefore, truths have been exposed.

Grenfell can be read as a manifestation of the injustices of the present, and it has seen an acceleration in collective consciousness. The summer’s bright sun has shone a light on shadowy figures like the KCTMO’s CEO Robert Black, and senior councillors like Nicholas Paget-Brown and Rock Feilding-Mellen – leaders in the former state of affairs, now resigned.
Events like Grenfell expose any number of embedded everyday injustices. Racist nativism underscored the suppression of numbers in the immediate aftermath of the fire, and overlooked the fact that the majority of those killed were Muslims from North African migrant backgrounds. The state failed to acknowledge the existence of the undocumented. Brexit Britain, in Prime Minister Theresa May’s own words, is a very ‘hostile environment’, where there can be no accommodation of the undocumented. Official non-statutory services, such as the Red Cross, failed to provide safe spaces for the desperate and traumatised for several weeks after the event. Making spaces available and addressing other lapses took persistent lobbying of the authorities.

Community information board (Credit: Daniel Renwick)

In nativist Britain, you can be burnt to death in the place where you live and then deleted from history. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, those who survived, but could not speak English, were not provided for. Communiqués and signage bore the hallmarks of the Notting Dale of old. If you cannot read English, you do not belong. The people had a different approach. A direct relationship of service to the people, from the people emerged after the fire; translators were sourced, resources were disseminated, aid was delivered to hotels. The tendency of the state is to exclude, whereas the communities of North Kensington operate on the principle that if you are here, you are from here. Thousands went to work to serve the various communities and peoples that make up the area, where discussion of proof of the right to remain was seen as an act of violence. To ask someone who had survived a fire to provide papers was seen as an obscenity to which the community refused to stoop.
And even after the public relations exercise had fallen apart and the state was shown to have utterly failed, its functionaries continued with the hubris of being in charge. To date, the best the government has offered is temporary accommodation and a year’s amnesty for those paperless, traumatised and homeless, which amounts to little more than a stay of execution. Executive powers proposed an emergency local state administration after RBKC’s unmitigated failure. Promised are a government review, a public inquiry, and a criminal investigation of Grenfell.

(Credit: Daniel Renwick)
The people of North Kensington counted their dead and served the living after the fire. Shelter, food, and clothing had to be found. Legal representation, in the face of authorities that would slide away from their responsibilities to devastated and displaced residents, had to be organised. Sensitive trauma support was of necessity on offer, religious as well as temporal. To many survivors, the volunteer systems across the various centres (still operating autonomously from the council and the combined boroughs’ emergency apparatus of ‘Gold Command’) were and are a life-line. Across the area, public-space land is being reclaimed. Maxilla Walk, on the verge of huge and controversial redevelopment, is effectively an occupied public arts space. The Henry Dickens Community Centre, a stone’s throw from the burnt out Grenfell Tower, is now an art therapy centre. Bay 56 under the A40 Westway, where Acklam Road meets Portobello Road, is now known around the Grove as ‘the Village’ and is a central hub in the community’s self-help and aid effort, offering healing activities and care packages. Thousands are engaged in an entirely autonomous aid effort. The state withdrew and went missing in the immediate aftermath of Grenfell. It is not clear how it can come back, and on what terms.

Colin Prescod is the chair of the IRR's Council of Management, a resident of the RBKC for over 50 years and the director of the film on Ladbroke Grove From you were Black, you were out. Daniel Renwick is a youth worker, writer and videographer.

Families and survivors are still awaiting justice as inquiry into fire that killed 72 people in London keeps slow pace.
 Ylenia Gostoli

London, United KingdomOn the night of June 14, 2017, a blaze broke out in the Grenfell residential tower block in the west London borough of Kensington after a refrigerator exploded in one of the apartments. Of the 72 people who died in what was the deadliest housing fire in the UK in decades, 18 were children. The rapid spread of the blaze has been blamed on the material used to cover the building's exterior after renovation works a few years earlier.

Residents and activists marked the day with vigils and a silent walk on Friday evening, while a solidarity march is planned for Saturday. In the aftermath of the fire, a public inquiry was set up to investigate issues, including the modifications made to the building between 2012 and 2016. This includes cladding, a method of insulating and improving the appearance of the 24-storey tower's concrete facade, originally built in the 1970s in the brutalist style popular at the time. Before the fire, concerns had been raised about the building's fire-safety measures.

Of the 72 people who died in Grenfell fire, 18 were children [Hannah McKay/Reuters]

Survivors of the Grenfell disaster and the families of the victims have expressed frustration at the slow pace of the inquiry, whose first report, due this spring, will instead be published in October. The second phase of the report, which was scheduled to start this year, will not begin until 2020. An update on the inquiry's official website said the first phase of the report, which aims to reconstruct in detail what happened on the night of the fire, "proved to be a far more complex and time-consuming task than the inquiry had originally anticipated".

Tributes paid to Grenfell victims in inquiry launch (2:39)

"They all want to have trust in the process," said Remy Mohamed, a project coordinator at the charity Inquest, which investigates state-related deaths and has taken testimonies from bereaved families.

"The whole point of having a public inquiry is to find out the truth about what happened and to prevent it from ever happening again to anyone else," Mohamed told Al Jazeera.

"But it's been two years, and the inquiry hasn't made any interim recommendations at all," she said.

"There's also a concern about the lack of meaningful participation. The families feel they are just an afterthought when they should be at the centre of the process."

The police are conducting their own, separate investigation, but said the delayed public inquiry should conclude before charges can be filed.

"The road to justice is definitely a long and uncertain one," Mohamed said.

As part of an approximately $11m refurbishment project, the exterior of the Grenfell tower was fitted with aluminium panels containing a plastic filling. The foam insulation contained in the panels turned out to be highly flammable, leading to checks on hundreds of towers across the country where the same aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding was used. The use of the lower-priced panels had been approved by the local council of Kensington and Chelsea as complying with building regulations.

Replacement funds

Last year, the government pledged the equivalent of $503m to replace cladding on council and social housing blocks. At least 470 buildings across the country have been identified as featuring the combustible material. According to government figures published in May, out of 176 private high-rise residential buildings with unsafe Grenfell-style cladding, 156 had yet to start replacement works, while only 10 had completed it amid disputes about who should pay for the work.

Memorial held for victims of Grenfell Tower fire (2:49)

The government announced last month it would release about $250m in funding to replace the ACM cladding on private buildings where owners have failed to do so, arguing the bill was to be footed by the leaseholders who purchased the individual apartments. But for tens of thousands of people who fear the apartment blocks they live in may turn into death traps, this does not go far enough. Ritu Saha, a cofounder of the UK Cladding Action campaigning group, believes the money will not go far enough to replace cladding on ACM blocks, according to the costs reported by leaseholders her group has been in touch with across the country. The government has only recently started testing other types of cladding that may pose a danger.

"There are many blocks across the country which are covered in equally and sometimes even more dangerous combustible cladding, like high-pressure laminate," Saha told Al Jazeera.

"The government has not made any funds available or at the moment even recognised that this cladding is dangerous," she said.

Another fire

Less than a week before the two-year anniversary of the disaster, a privately owned block of flats went up in flames in East London. Residents had reportedly contacted the property developer, Bellway Homes, with concerns just a months before. Twenty flats were destroyed in the fire, which appeared to spread across its tinder cladding and caused no casualties.

"The government needs to recognise there are other kinds of combustible cladding and also needs to recognise there are many blocks across the country that have severe fire safety failings, and that is basically as a result of poor building regulation," said Saha, who lives in one such block of flats herself in Barking, East London. Residents of her own buildings have set-up what they call "waking watches" to feel safe. They patrol the buildings 24/7, with some residents doing it on a voluntary basis to cut costs. "There are blocks across the country where residents have received huge bills to fix this. And if they don't pay, then the buildings' owners are threatening them saying they are in breach of the terms of their lease and will lose their home," Saha said.

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