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  June 21, 2017

Survivors of UK's Grenfell Tower Block Fire Demand Accountability for the Victims


One week after the disastrous fire that engulfed the whole of Grenfell Tower Block, survivors and their supporters demand justice and a reform of Britain's national housing policy
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transcript

Speaker 1: [inaudible 00:00:26] it's towering inferno here.

Speaker 2: How's that possible.

Speaker 3: It's jumped up all the way along the place.

ISHMAHIL BLAGROVE: Well today we launched a campaign of Justice 4 Grenfell with our website, Justice4Grenfell.co.uk. We just had to sort of centralize, to create one central hub for the campaign because there are a whole lot of groups that have set up. People have hit the ground running, and wanted to sort of do things. And you have people providing food, some providing counseling, making sure that those victims were okay. It's just been absolutely amazing, what I've seen in terms of the Sikhs, the Hindus, the Muslims. ... People being in the street, people just didn't know how to ... knowing what they could do. People delivering food ... just the unity, I can't even just put it more than that. I think that the lasting legacy of this tower block is just the unity that it's sort of created in bringing people together.

There's been a controversy because, and it's not just Grenfell, there are other states, there are other places around here. The entire community has been under siege, from Mornington, Lancaster Youth, Grenfell, Silchester. The whole community has been under siege. There's been a history of neglect with the councils not seeing poor working-class people in this community. This disaster was waiting to happen, they were warned. Ed had written a blog years ago outlining all of the issues of the health and safety risks, the fire risks. They weren't listened to, they weren't heard. No one cared. They had no faith in what they were doing. They put cladding on the outside, they spent 10 million on the outside, and yet the 10 million they spent, it wasn't in terms of improving the lives of the residents. It was about padding it up so the rich people in this area didn't see it as an eyesore.

Imagine, we live in a society whereby we have footballers paid 250 thousand pounds a week. How much would it have cost to put a sprinkler system in there? A week's ... a footballer's weekly salary?

It's about getting justice. It's about holding people accountable. It's about making people responsible. It's about making somebody pay for what they did. Imagine as we're talking now there's still bodies in there.

It's an oven. It's an oven. It's a sinister monument, do you know what I mean? Of negligence on the part of the state and the government, do you know what I mean? And what this has sparked, it's become international. It's become symbolic of the culture of neglect, do you know what I mean? That's endemic, not just in here. It's institutional across this country. Working class communities, ordinary people. Hard working people struggling to get by, whereby you have state operators not caring for them, not listening to them. Not even seeing them, they don't see these people.

So this campaign, what we'll be doing is getting justice for the people of Grenfell, and also expanding the argument right across the country. Because what we've shown here is you've seen the unity yourself. You've felt that spiritual energy. If we can create that here, why can't we create it across the country?

All we want is justice! What do we want?

Audience: Justice!

I. BLAGROVE: What do we want?

Audience: Justice!

I. BLAGROVE: What do we want?

Audience: Justice!

I. BLAGROVE: What do we want?

Audience: Justice!

I. BLAGROVE: When do we want it?

Audience: Now!

I. BLAGROVE: When do we want it?

Audience: Now!

I. BLAGROVE: We want justice!



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