One Year On: Solidarity Marches Nationwide

There are many Solidarity Silent Walks & Events being organised throughout the Country on the week covering the 14th June.

We’ve tried to list them all here for you. Please do get involved.

Thursday 14th June 2018:

London Silent Walk
Gathering from 17:45pm at Maxilla, walking at 7pm – Ending up at Kensington Memorial Park on St Marks Road from 8.30pm
The park will be a PRESS FREE area – please respect this!
FB Event: Grenfell Silent Walk – 1 Year On

Merseyside Solidarity Walk
18:00pm -St Luke’s Church, Liverpool
FB Event: Merseyside Solidarity Walk

Ramsgate Solidarity Event
17:45pm – Meet at Ramsgate Beach
FB Event: Ramsgate Solidarity Event

Bradford Solidarity Walk
17:45pm – Centenary Square
FB Event: Bradford Solidarity Walk

Bolton, Manchester Solidarity with Grenfell
18:15pm – Victoria Square, BR1 1RJ
FB Event: Bolton Solidarity with Grenfell

Sheffield Solidarity Event
17:00pm – Sheffield Town Hall
FB Event: Justice4Grenfell Solidarity Event

Bristol & Gloucester Unite Solidarity March
18:00pm – Gloucester Park
FB Event: Grenfell Memorial March

Bristol4Grenfell Solidarity March
17:30pm – College Green, Bristol
FB Event: Bristol4Grenfell: 1 Year ON, Remembrance and call for Justice

Edinburgh Solidarity Vigil
18:00pm – The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2
FB Event: Edinburgh Remembers Grenfell

Aberdeen Solidarity Vigil
18:30pm – St Nicholas Square
FB Event: Grenfell – One Year on

Leeds Solidarity Vigil
18:00pm – Parkinson Building, LS2 9
FB Event: Grenfell – One Year On Vigil

Leeds Solidarity Vigil & Protest
17:00pm – Leeds Art Gallery, Victoria Gardens

York Solidarity Vigil
17:45pm – St Helen’s Square, YO1 8
FB Event: York Vigil in Solidarity with Grenfell

Dundee Silent Walk
17:45pm – McManus Galleries, Dundee, DD1 1DA

Saturday 16th June:

Brighton Solidarity Demonstration
12:00pm – The Level, Lewes Road BN2 3FX
FB Event: ONE YEAR ON – Brighton and Hove Solidarity Demonstration

London Justice4Grenfell National Demonstration
12:00pm – Downing Street, march to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and then on to Parliament Square, where there will be several speakers.
FB Event: One Year On: Justice For Grenfell

Sunday 17th June:

Newcastle Remembrance Event
Details TBC (Please check this post in the following days)

‘United Voices’ Making Day 1 – RCAxJ4G

On the 28th May 2018, the RCAxJ4G Solidarity Group & Justice4Grenfell hosted a day of ‘making’ at The Curve Community Centre.

Thanks to the students at the Royal College of Art’s Justice4Grenfell Solidarity Group, the community were able to print t-shirts and bags, try out weaving green hearts, banner making and poster making.

It was a wonderful day that enabled people of all ages in the community to come together to create some beautiful work that can be used along the Silent Walk route on the 14th June to mark one year of the fire at Grenfell Tower.

We are really pleased to announce TWO additional making days, open to everybody, on the 9th & 10th June 2018 at the Royal College of Art, Dorando Close – which is a few minutes walk from Wood Lane and White City Underground Stations.   There will also be a couple of new ‘making’ stations for people to try out!

It’s really accessible – you can take the Hammersmith & City or Circle Line from Latimer Road or Ladbroke Grove to Wood Lane. From Wood Lane, it’s a really easy to get to the Campus –  we’ve included a map in the gallery. Everyone is welcome – please do come down!

We’d like to thank the RCAxJ4G Solidarity Group and also the Portable Print Studio, who facilitated the bag and t-shirt printing.

Event: One Year On – Justice For Grenfell Solidarity March


JUSTICE4GRENFELL AND THE LONDON FIRE BRIGADE’S UNION CALL ON PEOPLE FROM AROUND BRITAIN WHO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR GRENFELL TO JOIN US.

One year on and after 72 people have died and 70 injured in the Grenfell Tower fire the government leaves behind a trail of broken promises:

• 50% of survivors and displaced families are still in emergency accomodation
• No arrests yet, despite RBKC and Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation being charged with corporate manslaughter
• A Public Inquiry that a year on has only just begun, so we are no closer to the truth
• 300 tower blocks across the country covered in dangerous cladding used on Grenfell Tower. Building & safety regulations still not fit for purpose. A flammable cladding, that is STILL not banned in the UK.
• A local council who should be put into special measures because of its callous and ineffective management of the impact of the fire

THERE ARE COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY WHICH WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO JOIN IN.

Event: ‘United Voices Making Day’ with Justice 4 Grenfell and the RCA J4G Solidarity Group

In the lead up to the 1 year anniversary a group of students from the Royal College of Art are working with Justice 4 Grenfell to run a series of ‘United Voices’ making days.

*Bank Holiday*
Monday 28th May, 12-5pm at The Curve, Bard Road W10 6TP

We will facilitate: banner making, t-shirt screen printing, poster image-making and more!

Free entry
All materials provided
Family friendly
All ages welcome
Some light refreshments will be available

Come and make with us to keep up the voice, and spread the love!

I lost my cousin and her daughter at Grenfell – and I’m shocked the Hackitt review has refused to call for a ban on dangerous cladding

By Clarrie Mendy, for The Independent

It’s been almost a year since we lost my cousin, her daughter and 70 other named persons in the tragic Grenfell Tower inferno last year on 14 June 2017.

From day one bereaved family members, survivors, evacuated former residents, local residents living in the shadow of Grenfell and the local community have had to fight for their basic human rights.

The silent marches spoke volumes. The petition for extra panel members was signed by over 150,000 people. But still people had to practically beg for mercy and compassion to be heard and see action implemented.

My cousin’s death among 72 people soon became a cause to champion in the pursuit of justice. I have converted my grief and anger to creative energy, which helps me to cope and battle on. To know that tenants and people had raised concerns for three years prior to the Grenfell inferno infuriates me. Lives could have been saved.

In my opinion, human rights were abused – and all of the families in that tower were given keys to live in inadequate housing.

Last week I went to Parliament to discuss this with Theresa May with other bereaved relatives of those who died. The narrative from the government seemed to have changed, and I was glad.

Theresa May then stood up in parliament and said she would spend £400m stripping dangerous cladding similar to that on Grenfell Tower from other housing blocks. I felt this was a sign that she had listened to us.

But today we’re back here fighting again.

Dame Judith Hackitt, who has written the report into the disaster, has said the government doesn’t have to ban the flammable cladding which led to the deaths of 72 victims, including my cousin Mary Mendy and her daughter Khadija Saye.

While listening to May in parliament, after meeting with her last week, I felt proud that she’d made this call on removing the remaining cladding. She’d been reminded and she knew it was her deed. The conviction with which she stood up and said it, I thought well done Theresa – you listened to us.

But now this report says something different. Dame Judith Hackitt – the woman who is saying combustible cladding can remain legal – I don’t know what planet she comes from. She’s definitely not a humanitarian, or thinking about the next generation. She should have a meeting with the Grenfell community and then she might have an alternative view after speaking to us.

I’m absolutely disgusted and totally shocked. It’s abominable, and very conflicted considering what Theresa May has been saying. This decision might be good for industry, but it’s not good for the environment or for the people.

We know the dangers of this cladding. I’ve got children and grandchildren. I’m not going to be here forever but they don’t need to witness another Grenfell anywhere in this country. I can’t understand the logic behind it.

If the government is trying to prevent these kinds of things happening nationally, why is someone promoting this poison to harm society and the environment?

We talk about knife crime, trying to keep the numbers down, preventing it from happening. The same logic should be applied to flammable cladding. It shouldn’t be allowed. We didn’t have the resources to prevent Grenfell, and now we don’t seem to have the means to ban these toxic materials.

The people who make the cladding – and the contractors – have to be made accountable right now. We cannot let this be a normal thing.

Prevention is better than cure. It has to be banned. The government has got more say, and I hope they have woken up and realised there are human beings. This was and is a human tragedy and we don’t need any more of this nationally.

We don’t need any more crematoriums in the sky, and no generation needs to witness this again. Let’s lead by example in Britain.

By Clarrie Mendy for The Independent

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Blog by Yvette Williams MBE (J4G)

So the Prime Minister has ‘agreed’ that the Grenfell Inquiry Panel will have two additional Panel Members. What does this really mean? The answer is in the detail or rather the missing detail!

It has not been made clear if the two additional members will have equal decision-making powers to Judge Moore-Bick; how they will be selected; if there will be any community consultation or if they will be forced upon us, based on the civil servant’s perception of what they ‘think’ we want.  Let me be clear here, we need panel members who understand our lived experience and can challenge key factors that adversely impact communities like North Kensington. This means panel members will have to probe and challenge the Judge in a wider context and not accept government legislation and public policy as ‘normal’, as part of the accepted status quo. For the record it does not solely mean that both panel members have to ‘look like us’. Yes, it would give more community confidence in the Inquiry, but it is not intrinsic to having the expertise we need. To put this in plain English -It is vital that the PM and Inquiry team does not select panel members who look like us but ‘act’ like them.

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Panel’s conclusion of Institutional racism was a watershed for inquiry outcomes and drive for change. Dr Richard Stone, a Jewish GP was a panel member. Richard also had extensive experience working against racism and social exclusion. He also sat on boards in the grant making charitable sector. One of the community organisations he funded and became involved with was the Mangrove, here in Notting Hill.  Richard originally came into contact with the Mangrove in his role as a GP. At a time when police brutality of black men was the ‘accepted’ the ‘norm’. Dr Stone was often the only local Doctor we could call out in the middle of the night to document the injuries inflicted by officers of the law.  Richard knew first hand the lived experience of the North Kensington Communities. His presence on the Public Inquiry paved the way for increased community confidence in the process.

The other missing details is why are the additional panel members only going to appointed for Phase 2 of the Inquiry. The Grenfell Inquiry website states:

‘the focus of Phase 1 will be the events of the night of 14 June 2017 and, in particular:

The existing fire safety and prevention measures at Grenfell Tower; where and how the fire started;

the development of the fire and smoke; how the fire and smoke spread from its original seat to other parts of the building; the chain of events before the decision was made that there was no further savable life in the building; and the evacuation of residents.

Phase 1 will also examine what the emergency services did by way of response, and when. The question of why they did what they did, and the adequacy of the emergency services’ response, including the appropriateness of the “stay put” policy, and the lessons to be learned, will be considered in Phase 2.’

How on earth are the additional panel members going to be able to identify lessons to be learnt if they have not heard what happened ‘on the night’ in Phase 1?? What should become clear from phase 1 is that government legislation and policy over many years all contributed to what happened on ‘the night’ and furthermore, how this has contributed to everything that is wrong with our society today. We don’t experience the impact of this, as a ‘phase;’ this is a systemic degradation and bordering inhumane treatment of communities up and down the country. This is what needs to be assessed at phase 1 and it is vital that we have two additional panel members at phase 1, who are able to raise this. What is the reason for them only sitting on the phase 2 panel, could it be about pushing forward with the already agreed inquiry schedule, that is already very late? Could it be money? Or could it be that they think that anyone with ‘community expertise’ wouldn’t understand the ‘complex technical issues’. I’m no technical building expert, but I can glean that it wasn’t solely the building materials used for the refurbishment at Grenfell tower that alone caused the fire; but rather the swathe of government deregulation policy that ‘allowed’ it to happen.

We cannot leave phase 1 to ‘privileged experts’ who talk solely about ‘technical issues.’ At least 72 people lost their lives in the fire at Grenfell Tower, many who survived still have no permanent home.

As we mourn what happened at Grenfell, we don’t talk about ‘the building’, we focus on the ‘people’. It is people who form communities.  It is people that will continue to Campaign in unity to interrogate this injustice. It is ultimately what links us to communities up and down the country; we are linked by the sheer nature of our humanity.

Yvette Williams

Hillsborough Law Letter – Press Release & Letter Copy

Press release
For Immediate release
11/05/18

Alison McGovern MP sends letter to the Prime Minister, urging support for ‘Hillsborough Law’ to assist Grenfell.

On Friday, Alison McGovern MP sent a letter to the Prime Minister, expressing cross-party support for ‘Hillsborough Law’, the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill, to assist the Grenfell public inquiry.

The letter comes with a reminder to the Prime Minister that she has ‘argued that it is priority for her government to tackle ‘burning injustices’ within our society and the Grenfell fire serves as a stark reminder that this issue goes beyond the suffering of the Hillsborough families’. There can be no injustice more cruel or painful than the experience of the Hillsborough families and that of the families of other victims of public disasters who have been treated in an appalling way by public bodies and by the legal system.

It is the hope of Alison McGovern MP and many others who have signed the letter including Andy Burnham, Len McCuskey, Professor Phil Scraton and Margaret Humphry’s, to make good commitment, support the measures contained within this Bill, and take a vital first step towards changing the culture by improving justice and accountability for public bodies in our country.