Protest at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall – Wednesday 19th July from 6pm, called by Justice4Grenfell

The Town Hall, Hornton Street, LONDON W8 7NX

The first full council meeting of Kensington and Chelsea is due to take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 19th July. Please join our peaceful protest outside the Town Hall from 6pm.

We are outraged that the public and press were excluded from observing a meeting of the council cabinet at Kensington Town Hall on Thursday 29th June. The press only gained entry after a court order was issued against the council but the public were still shut out.

The council has assured the community that local residents will be allowed into the meeting. We will be at the council building to make sure this happens.

Kensington and Chelsea council has presided over decades of neglect and mistreatment of ordinary working-class people. The
disastrous fire at Grenfell has resulted in an as yet unconfirmed number of fatalities but we know the official figures currently
being used don’t hold up to public scrutiny.

The lives of countless families have been wrecked but Grenfell survivors and the wider community are still being treated with utter contempt.
The councillors and council officers responsible must go!

They should not be replaced by an unelected task force or commissioners. There must be an immediate local election.

The social cleansing judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick appointed to head the public inquiry is totally unacceptable to the community. The terms of reference are also unacceptably narrow, raising fears of a cover-up.

This out of touch former judge been imposed from on high and chosen with no regard for the thoughts of survivors or other local residents.

We have no confidence in his appointment and demand that survivors and residents must have a say in who leads the inquiry.

Moyra Samuels from Justice 4 Grenfell said:

“We feel the council has fundamentally failed to offer the support survivors and the local community so badly needs. Despite the resignation of former council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, the neglect continues. The community wants to express its frustration and to support those who will be going into the council meeting as part of delegations.”

Press contacts:

Joe Delaney 07985 196 199
Sue Caro 07764 354 877
Yvette Williams MBE 07714 181 555
Moyra Samuels 07988 880 834

Notes for editors

Justice 4 Grenfell demands urgent answers to the following:

  1. What is the realistic figure for the dead and missing?
  2. Why haven’t local empty properties been requisitioned for survivors despite the promises of the council?
  3. Why have no resources been made available for the care of traumatised survivors?
  4. Why have none of the contractors or council executives and elected representatives involved in the decision to install flammable cladding been brought in for questioning or arrested?
  5. Why has no-one from the Tenant Management Organisation been questioned or arrested?
  6. What measures or air quality tests, if any, have been taken since the fire to minimise poisoning by cyanide and other poisonous gases?
  7. Why is the council refusing to deploy its massive reserves in the relief efforts?


Grenfell Fire Survivors Interviewed by Police in an Unsympathetic and Hostile Manner

The Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign has been made aware that Grenfell Tower Survivors are being interviewed by the Police in such a manner that they feel as if they are the criminals responsible for the disaster rather than the victims.

In one case we are aware of, the survivor had her lawyer with her, he was forced to stop the Police Officer carrying out the interview in order to ask him to explain to his client that she wasn’t in any trouble, the purpose of the interview and to adjust his tone.

In another case we are aware of, a male survivor contacted on his mobile by the Police was informed that they wanted to interview him. Having said he didn’t want to talk to the Police, he thought that was the end of the matter. However, two weeks later his wife received a call on her mobile from the Police and was put under pressure to agree to be interviewed. The Officer concerned also questioned her about her husband, asking whether he would be present at the interview. She felt pressurised to agree to the interview and is now anxious about it, neither she nor her husband have any idea how the Police obtained her mobile number and feel that they are being harassed.

The survivors have been through a terrible ordeal, they need to recover, to be treated with empathy, care and respect. The disregard across the board for the emotional and mental welfare of people who have experienced unimaginable horrors is unacceptable and is making matters worse. It is also fuelling the anger and despair many in the community feel. It has to stop.

Grenfell Tower Survivors Evacuated Due to Fire

Grenfell Tower survivors being accommodated at the Bayswater Thistle Hotel have been subjected to another terrifying ordeal, not once but twice in less than a week.

Severely traumatised survivors have not only been accommodated on the 6th floor of this hotel but have also had to go through the trauma of an emergency evacuation due to fire, once on Saturday 8th July and then again on Wednesday 12th July at 8pm. One survivor with 2 small children was particularly badly affected by having to relive her horrifying Grenfell Tower experience.

J4G Campaign call upon the relevant authorities to remove survivors from this hotel immediately and provide them with an alternative that takes account of the trauma they have suffered, people need to recover, not to have their suffering increased.

Press conference: One Voice Community Collective plus #The Real Community

Friday 14th July 2017 at 6pm
Bay 56, 4 – 8 Acklam Village, Acklam Road, W10 5TY

One Voice Community Collective and members of #The Real Community invites you to attend a press conference at “The Village” Bay 56, 4 – 8 Acklam Village, Acklam Road, W10 5TY just off Portobello Road on Friday 14th July at 6pm.

One Voice Community Collective and members of #The Real Community will present a grassroots report from the Ladbroke Grove Community who have been maintaining and delivering an unprecedented and historic aid effort without the assistance or support from the government or local council. This will be the first in a series of press conferences, which shall focus on specific issues surrounding the Grenfell Tower fire. The aim is to breakdown many of the issues in order to focus and add clarity to the realities faced on a daily basis.

On Friday you will hear first hand accounts from those on the frontline of this unprecedented disaster. We will testify to the love and commitment shown to the victims by ordinary members of the community. Irony has shown it’s those who have the least that ultimately end up giving the most.

Just over four weeks ago our lives where changed forever. Since the fateful night of the Grenfell Tower Fire we have had to the face an almost impossible task of filling the void in response to what was not fulfilled by the government, local council and charitable bodies in terms of aid and support for the true victims of the fire.

We hit the ground running and collectively we’ve had to learn and adapt to the reality of dealing with an unprecedented emergency situation, whilst at the same time being a community in deep grief and trauma.
With so many unanswered questions our mission is to find long-term solutions to rebuild our unified community.

For further information contact: Niles Hailstones + 44 7949 890 245

Will the inquiry be a cover-up?

George Monbiot outlines why the Government must not be allowed to dictate who is the Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Fire nor the Terms of Reference. He discusses the very real prospect of Brexit leading to a “bonfire of red tape”, the Tory euphemism for basically removing all protection and rights from workers. Essential viewing.

Survivor’s trauma support group

From: Grenfell Volunteers Support & Information Network

SOS Silence of Suicide, run by Michael Mansfield QC and his partner Yvette Greenway, alongside umbrella group Justice4Grenfell Campaign & the Grenfell Volunteers Support and Information network are reaching out to the community and all those affected by the recent fire tragedy, asking them to come together as a group in a safe space as one voice, to discuss their emotions, feelings & mental wellbeing.

This SOS initiative, ‘A Safe Space To Talk’ has been endorsed by Duncan Bew, Consultant Trauma & Acute Care Surgeon, & Clinical Director of the Trauma Unit at NHS King’s College Hospital London, which treated some of the Grenfell survivors.

There will be plenty of trained professionals and volunteers on site for anyone who feels they need one to one conversations either during or after the meeting.

This meeting is for those who are experiencing sadness, grief, trauma, isolation and loss. It is to support and listen to those affected and their needs in a safe & confidential space.

Please assist those you are supporting and others you may know of to attend. Many residents & volunteers affected by Grenfell have asked for this support.

Date: Saturday 15th July 2017.
Time: 3pm til 6pm
Venue: The Harrow Club, 187 Freston Road, W10 6YH.
Tube Station: Latimer Road
Refreshments provided

Response to Metropolitan Police Statement issued on 10th July

J4G shares the concerns of survivors, bereaved families and the wider community regarding the latest statement from the Met Police giving numbers of fatalities, survivors and “missing” as a result of the Grenfell fire. The number of fatalities & missing are generally felt to be too low and not consistent with previously announced figures. Conversely, the number of survivors is considered by many to be too high.

“That night, 14 residents were not in the building, leaving at least 80 people dead or missing, the Met said.”

These figures do not tally with the 87 fatalities already announced by the authorities, figures that were already felt to be too low by many in the community.

The Police estimate of 350 people living in the Tower presents an average of less than 3 people living in each apartment. Survivors and residents from the local area do not accept this estimate, believing it to be way too low. It also fails to take account of the fact that it was Ramadan and therefore there would be many visitors in the Tower, breaking their fast with family and friends.

The Police estimate of 55 people missing is also being challenged by the community, who believe it to be an underestimate and not consistent with the facts. The Metro on 15th June reported that:

“Police revealed today that they have received around 400 calls reporting people missing following the Grenfell Tower fire.”

In addition, there were more than 600 calls made from the Tower on the night of the fire just to the emergency services, plus many more calls made by terrified residents to family and loved ones. The volume of calls alone suggests that many more than 350 people were in the Tower on the 14th June.

“…more than 600 emergency calls made that night ..”

The Met Police statement says that ‘there were about 255 survivors” – many in the local community are asking where are all these survivors and who are they?

It is unfortunate in the extreme that a statement issued in an attempt at transparency has only served to deepen the sense of mistrust in the authorities and heightened the widely held belief that a cover-up is underway.