The Grenfell Inquiry begins on Monday 6th July, following its suspension due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The inquiry sent out a consultation to Core Participants and interested parties asking for considerations of the following:
Option 1: Suspend hearings until social restrictions have been lifted completely
Option 2: Conduct hearings remotely via a video conferencing platform
Options 3: Resume hearings with limited attendance when social restrictions are partially lifted
The inquiry panel informed all that option three had been selected. What was not made transparent is that ‘limited attendance’ translated into NO access would be given to the Bereaved Survivors and Residents (BSR). Along with their legal teams, they will only have access via livestream on You Tube!
The only people present will be Sir Martin Moore Bick, Thouria Istephan panel colleague, The Inquiries Counsel Richard Millet QC, his legal team, and a journalist from the Press Association.
What is It clear is that the BSR’s were not given all of the facts of ‘limited admittance’ to the proceedings. They thought, or were under the impression that- ‘limited attendance’, meant that some BSRs would be able to attend with social distancing in place. Today’s hearing resumes with evidence from Rydon, the main contractor in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower. This has caused serious concerns amongst bereaved families and core participants. Nabil Choucair, who lost six members of his stated-
“We should be allowed to see their faces. We are the families that have had our families taken from us”
It appears that even after these corporate companies were granted ‘immunity’ for their oral evidence by the attorney general – they are now given additional ‘special measures’ to further protect them.
The Grenfell disaster is about the 72 men, women and children who died, and hundreds more who lost their homes and a traumatised community. It now seems evident that the Inquiry is more concerned with building safety issues rather than the impact on people and communities. The request to include and address social inequality and institutional discrimination were omitted from the Inquiry’s terms of reference. J4G has serious concerns that the inquiry only sees Grenfell as a building that ‘failed’ and NOT the people ‘who were failed’. Especially in the wake of the Black Live Matter Movement and the recent Pandemic – , again the question must be asked- Why is it acceptable for BAME c= and working class communities to be considered worthy of only substandard housing and substandard lives. ‘YOUR INTENDED PATH IS,YOUR ATTENDED OUTCOME’;
J4G SAY YOUR PATH SHOULD BE JUSTICE!