Posts filed under: Press Release

Safe homes – Protect Residents – Save Lives

Three years on, Justice4Grenfell joined by high profile supporters to demand the government commit to deadline to remove all flammable cladding.

London, 10th June 2020 – Nearly 3 years on from the Grenfell Tower disaster that claimed 72 lives, high profile supporters including Paloma Faith, Tinie Tempah and Ella Eyre rally behind Justice4Grenfell to urge the government to commit to a deadline to remove all flammable cladding as thousands of lives still remain at risk. On Wednesday 10th June at 9 am, supporters such as Lily Allen, GRM Daily, Ian Rankin and many more will post on their social media pledging to write to their MP’s to demand justice for Grenfell and encourage the wider public to do so too via  Despite public outcry at the time, and continuous campaigning from many groups, no one has been held accountable for the disaster at Grenfell. Firms involved were granted immunity from prosecution for their evidence at the inquiry, the fire brigade was made a scapegoat at the first stage of the inquiry and hundreds of tower blocks – 23,000 households with Grenfell style ACM cladding, and up to 500,000 people living with other non ACM flammable cladding, remain at risk in the UK. 
  The government has recently announced a new fund for remedial work on high rise blocks to remove flammable cladding, which is a step forward. However, it missed its first deadline to remove all cladding by June 2020 (and was not near to reaching it pre-COVID-19). It has, as yet, not committed to another deadline, and has made funding to carry out the works complex, lengthy and obscure.
  Because of this, a number of influential names across various industries have come together to post an image which reads “Safe Homes. Protect Residents. Save Lives” alongside writing to their MP via a direct link demanding the Government commit to:
  A deadline to remove all ACM and non ACM flammable cladding systemA detailed timeline of how they will achieve thisThe Government being held accountable if they fail again

  Justice4Grenfell spokesperson, Yvette Williams, said: 
  “We’re aware that the government has recently announced a fund dedicated to removing cladding but it’s not good enough. They have missed their own deadline for all flammable cladding to be removed by June 2020.

It’s estimated the fund will only cover ⅓ of households, it’s offered on a first come first served basis, there is no commitment from the government to a deadline for completed works, and it does not cover buildings under 18m. Residents in one tower block in Manchester have been told that they are ineligible to apply for funding.

  For the people affected, there is still no clear understanding of the time frame to have these panels removed. We believe the Government needs to act with urgency and set clear timings for completion, and take accountability for an expedient removal.
  At a time where people are urged to stay in their homes more, safety is paramount. Over 23,000 households are still covered in Grenfell style flammable cladding 3 years after the Grenfell disaster. The fight for change and justice must continue as many thousands of people’s lives are at risk.”

List of celebs who will be participating online and/or have pledged support:

Paloma Faith, Tinie Tempah, Ella Eyre, Lily Allen, Mystery Jets, Naughty Boy, Wilkinson, Flohio, Wavy The Creator, S1, SK, TK, DJ Charlsey, GRM Daily, Cerys Matthews, Doc Brown, Poundz, Digga D 

Hayley Atwell

Maro Itoje

Jolyon Rubenstein

Dane Baptiste, Mo Gilligan

Ian Rankin, Vanessa Kingori 

Richard Burgon   

The Communications Workers Union

J4G Statement regarding the ‘Effigy’

August 23rd 2019

When video footage of a group of people burning an effigy of Grenfell Tower, complete with brown and Muslim figures at windows and babies floating out of it became public, the bereaved and survivors and communities across the country were truly horrified- it was not just the mocking laughter that accompanied the burning of the effigy that shocked but the fact that this was considered an appropriate way to celebrate bonfire night.

Paul Bussetti was charged but surprisingly cleared on Thursday in the Magistrate’s court of distributing grossly offensive material.

The chief magistrate of England and Wales, Emma Arbuthnot described the handling of the case against Paul Bussetti as “appalling” after ‘new’ evidence was disclosed by the Crown Prosecution service (CPS) to the defence shortly before she was retiring to consider her verdict.

This is certainly a shocking and appalling situation. That a blatant racist act like this can be swept under the carpet in 2019 is a serious indictment and blight on our society. Some 20 years after the Lawrence Inquiry recognised the issue of ‘institutional racism’ and the Crown Prosecution Service introduced a racist and religious hate crime prosecution policy- a case like this should have secured a conviction. The CPS has recently gained a poor reputation for late or non-disclosure of evidence in cases – especially where the victim and witnesses are vulnerable and or traumatised. The impact can be seen as rendering the rule of law as useless if it fails to meet the needs of those who need the most protection. Who are prosecution policies meant to protect? At best, it seems to be protecting the very suspects it is meant to convict!!!




J4G Statement regarding the resignation of Anna Stec

9th August 2019

‘Nothing is in place to assess environmental and health risks.’

The Resignation of Prof Anna Stec from the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) did not happen in a vacuum.   It is grounded in the SAG changing the remit and parameters of what they were assigned to do from the start. Anna specified in her resignation letter dated 24thJuly. It states that, “The SAG was originally established to review potential land contamination and its effect in the vicinity of the Grenfell Tower and North Kensington, ranging from environmental analysis to public health.”  As an expert working with a group investigating the potential contamination from Grenfell Fire chemicals, Stec’s departure is an open chasm that all is not well with the ‘official’ response to possible contamination and toxicity.  In her resignation letter to Sir Patrick Vallance, (the government’s chief scientific adviser and chair of the SAG); Stec wrote,

 “There are still a significant number of people suffering physically and mentally following the Grenfell Tower fire, and yet, there is still nothing in place to properly evaluate all the adverse health effects of the fire, and specifically exposure to fire effluents.”

Stec also raised questions about the appropriate level of expertise that AECOM – the company appointed by the government to carry out the official tests of samples.  She was disappointed at the lack of expertise of combustion toxicology or fire effluent analysis of AECOM. She also disapproved of the selection of sampling locations.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has also failed to reassure the community that all concerns raised by the community and Professor Anna Stec, have been addressed.  A recent meeting at a local Leisure centre failed to meet community expectations for a thorough and robust process of testing and feedback lacked any substantive findings. At times, some of the responses given were at best misleading and at worse did not reassure the community; a community that has to waited now for 25 month to get clear answers.

Coordination between the NHS, Public Heath England, Public and the Environment Agency appears poor. The local community is starting to feel that there is no agency that can provide then with the right answers to their questions or properly address worries and health risks to them and their children to rest.

Prof Stec, a witness in the Grenfell Fire Inquiry, conducted independent tests of land samples to verify contamination levels within a month of the west London fire on 14 June 2017. She found levels of cancer-causing chemicals were 160 times higher in the north Kensington area than normal. She noted,“Nothing is in place” to assess environmental and health risks. The authorities continued to tell us that the area was safe.  Yet the government has said its approach has been “rigorous”.  The Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign would say it is just ‘not rigorous enough.’



Social inequality leads to injustice – J4G Statement

Social inequality was the most serious threat to the democratic fabric of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC). It stood for years as the precondition for the preservation of the wealthy south of the borough.

Yesterday’s report by the Independent Grenfell Recovery Taskforce politely stated that ‘In many ways RBKC was a broken organisation in the autumn of 2017. It has repaired itself, and in some areas, it functions well. However, it is still some distance from being a high performing organisation that has the confidence of many of its residents in the north of the borough most affected by the tragedy. We hope to be proved wrong, but we are unconvinced that the current pace of change will achieve this in the foreseeable future. We are in agreement with most of this statement apart from any hope that they will be proved wrong.

At the administration committee on Monday evening, this preservation was seen in its ugliest form; embedded at the centre of a new borough constitution.

The horror of what happened at Grenfell tower continues to hang heavily over North Kensington. The above precondition has a hand in what happened there. The old leadership of the council ‘resigned’ and a ‘new’ leadership gave plaudits to themselves about how they had changed and how they relished future working the local community and had developed ‘new’ ears to listen and learn from us.

In reality, this should not have been something new. In a democratic society, all public institutions should reflect the diversity of those they serve; where this isn’t the case, good practice should enable all voices to be heard; effective community engagement is a dialogue not a monologue. It is about participation not domination; it’s about humanity, fairness, transparency, the list is not exhaustive.

The new proposed constitution was available on the council’s website 5 days before the meeting. The size of the document easily rivalled that of novel war and peace! The community was expected to digest and analyse it with in this time.  RBKC asserted that the constitution had gone out for consultation; where? On the website;  to whom? Resident Associations (RA) – three resident association representatives present at the meeting stated they had not been contacted. Could RBKC provide the list of RA’s that they had contacted – no definitive list was produced to evidence this. There had been a public meeting to consult – how many attended? Fifteen! Due to the small number of attendees no breakdown of their diversity was collated.

In August 2017, we met the then new CEO, Barry Quirk to the urgent need for quality community engagement and communication. One of the issues raised was the need for documents in particular complex documents to have plain English and to even consider getting a crystal mark for council documents. These have never materialised; further to this no Easy read documents are produced, crucial documents are not translated into community languages; there are no BSL signers present at council meetings. This gives a clearer picture of who they don’t want to consult, communicate or engage with.

The question that remains the elephant in the room is why are RBKC rushing this constitution change through. Well, at the heart of the proposed changes is their need to remove the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee. The committee set up in the aftermath of the Fire. Why we asked because the work that it does can be subsumed into four other committees – housing, adult and social care ………..

RBKC’s second response is that the GRSC is not effective. Why? They gave two reasons – one was the ‘community’ didn’t conduct itself in a manner that enabled ‘their’ business to be conducted. The second was more alarming – they wanted government ministers to attend the scrutiny committee to discuss Grenfell related issues, but alluded that were somewhat frightened to attend because we, yes we the residents posed some kind of threat! Unbelievable

We have asked for a deferral before adopting the new constitution – RBKC chose to ignore this and the Leadership meeting on the 24thJuly 2019 will, no doubt, rubber stamp it.

We search the RBKC website for an equality impact assessment that should have been done alongside this huge constructional change. We cannot find it.

After the worst disaster since world war 2, RBKC was in a position to effect real change and listen to its residents, they had the opportunity to try new and innovative ways of consulting and engaging its diverse community, they could have become an exemplar model of how a Local authority can be run when you effectively work iin partnership. Rather than take the road less travelled, they are content and secure to continue business as usual. Shame on them.

The outstanding question is who is holding RBKC to account? Or to coin a latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who is guarding the guards, who is watching the watchers? Or will they be allowed to continue to widen the gap of social inequality in the borough.

They had year of practice.




Press Release – Change of venue for the Public Inquiry

Date: 20th June 2019

The Justice 4 Grenfell campaign welcomes that the venue for the Grenfell Inquiry has now been changed. Bereaved Families and survivors have consistently asked for a change of venue; citing the location and environment of the Holborn Bars building as problematic for many reasons.

The location was too far from North Kensington which caused difficulties in travel to and from the venue, heavily impacting on those with child care responsibilities; those with disabilities and those who didn’t wish to travel on the underground. The venue also offered little or no natural day light, and the room where the proceedings took place was packed and confined, adding to the distress of those attending.

This was pointed out at the very beginning. Their objections to the venue have now been heard. However one cannot avoid the elephant in the room that this is another issue in a long list of others where bereaved families, survivors and residents have had to fight to be heard and then had to wait for months for an answer or change. All during a time when individuals and families were already traumatised and in mourning; this pattern of jettisoning at whim and tardy behaviour we hope does not continue and that the voices of those most impacted will be heard, respected and attended to swiftly.



Message of solidarity from the Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign on the 2nd Anniversary

On the 2nd anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign cannot find enough word to express our gratitude for your outpouring of assistance and remarkable support over the last 2 years.

72 people women, men and children lost their lives as a result of the fire; they are not here to speak out, but all of you are ensuring today that their voices are heard.

Martin Luther King stated that

‘Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’,

and what happened at Grenfell will stay in our minds forever.

The campaign is fighting for justice and change. In February 2018, Justice 4 Grenfell drove 3 Billboards around London to ensure that what happened at Grenfell Tower stays in the public consciousness. This year we launched the ‘No Death in Vain’ Campaign at London Fashion week.

We will continue to speak out on the injustices surrounding the fire at Grenfell tower and keep it in the public domain; we will continue to demand that the public inquiry keeps ‘people’ at the heart of the process; we will continue to demand changes in laws and regulations, to prevent another disaster like Grenfell happening; we will continue to make demands so that everyone has a home where they are safe. Your continued support will be critical to this –

‘Justice will never be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those of us who are’.

The North Kensington community needs and appreciates your support at this difficult time.

We are with our community today. We are standing with Grenfell today and we want to say a heartfelt thank you to you for standing with us too.

In solidarity,

The Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign

In memory of..

In memory of the 72 people who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower,

Anthony Disson
Bassem Choukair
Nadia Choucair
Mierna Choucair
Fatima Choucair
Zainab Choucair
Hashim Kedir
Nura Jemal
Yahya Hashim
Firdaws Hashim
Yaqub Hashim
Sirria Choucair
Logan Gomes
Abdulaziz El-Wahabi
Faouzia El-Wahabi
Yasin El-Wahabi
Nur Huda El-Wahabi
Mehdi El-Wahabi
Ligaya Moore
Jessica Urbano Ramirez
Omar Belkadi
Farah Hamdan
Malak Belkadi
Leena Belkadi
Mary Mendy
Khadija Saye
Victoria King
Alexandra Atala
Mohamednur Tuccu
Amal Ahmedin
Amaya Tuccu-Ahmedin
Amna Mahmud Idris
Maria ‘Pily’ del Pilar Burton
Marjorie Vital
Ernie Vital
Debbie Lamprell
Gary Maunders
Berkti Haftom
Biruk Haftom
Hamid Kani
Isaac Paulos
Fatemeh Afrasiabi
Sakineh Afrasiabi
Vincent Chiejina
Khadija Khalloufi
Kamru Miah
Rabeya Begum
Mohammed Hamid
Mohammed Hanif
Husna Begum
Joseph Daniels
Steve Power
Zainab Deen
Jeremiah Deen
Mohammad al-Haj Ali
Denis Murphy
Ali Yawar Jafari
Abdeslam Sebbar
Fathia Ahmed Elsanosi
Abufars Mohamed Ibrahim
Isra Ibrahim
Mohamed Saber Neda
Hesham Rahman
Rania Ibrahim
Hania Hassan
Fethia Hassan
Marco Gottardi
Gloria Trevisan
Raymond “Moses” Bernard
Eslah Elgwahry
Mariem Elgwahry

Solidarity March – June 15th

“Justice delayed is justice denied”

Show your support for bereaved, survivors and community in their fight for justice!
 Join us at the 2nd anniversary of the atrocity of the Grenfell Tower fire.
No deaths should be in vain! Where is the change, where is the justice?

Solidarity March Flyer June 2019

No Voice Left Unheard – Grenfell FCD

Family reflections on Grenfell: No voice left unheard is an evidence based report filled with first-hand testimonies of bereaved families following a consultation day held by INQUEST (May 2019).

No voice left unheard – Grenfell FCD report