Homes for All joined up to 5,000 survivors, residents and others on the Grenfell Silent Walk, Wednesday 14 June 2023.
Six years on from the fire, it is now 72 months since 72 people lost their lives.
All those present vowed to continue the fight for justice and accountability.
As the walk moved off behind the United For Grenfell banner, marchers held placards proclaiming “This much evidence, still no charges”.
The mood was sombre. Many of the marchers, and many more local residents, wore green to symbolise determination to see justice for Grenfell. Firefighters formed an honour guard for the walk.
Speakers at the rally afterwards spelled out the culpability of the suppliers of the dangerous materials used at Grenfell; and the culpability of the local authority which allowed them to be used. There must be jail time, for justice to be done.
The government has already broken its pledge to implement the recommendations of the Grenfell Public Inquiry, because the owners and managers of high rise buildings have not been required to provide Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for all disabled residents.
Survivors spoke to the rally about their loved ones who died in the fire. Marcia Rigg from the United Friends and Families Campaign also spoke powerfully, linking Grenfell with the campaigns of those whose family members have died at the hands of the police.
Come and join Peter Apps, Deputy Editor of Inside Housing as he discusses his acclaimed book
Peter Apps reported on fire safety before Grenfell and afterwards. He helped to unpick the lie that flammable cladding had been banned, and so the government had a case to answer about why such materials were on the tower.
Peter reported on the harrowing evidence presented at the public inquiry, detailing every shift and evasion of civil servants and by the manufacturers about how the disaster was allowed to happen.
The chapters in Peter’s book alternate between a sympathetic account of the experience of those inside the tower who were exposed to the horrors of the fire, combined with a detailed examination of how our housing, economic and political systems facilitated the tragedy.
The book is essential reading for all those who are campaigning for justice for the 72 people who died, and to ensure that this never happens again.
Peter will be speaking in person at Bookmarks Bookshop and the event will also be live streamed.
Tuesday 23 May, 6:30pm at Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street London WC1B 3QE
Five years after the Grenfell fire and we are no closer to a comprehensive solution to guarantee fire safety to all residents in affected blocks. And it still seems unclear exactly who will be funding remediation in many cases. This is despite the pledge developers have made to fund repairs in buildings over 11m high. This pledge is a product of the campaigning pressure of the Grenfell impacted community, leaseholder campaigns such as UK Cladding Action Group and Action for Fire Safety Justice and trade unions, particularly FBU. Homes for All has been proud to support them over the years. It’s no accident that this pledge comes just days before campaigners are due to protest again.
But whatever the Government says, and whatever Secretary of State for so-called levelling up Michael Gove wants people to believe, this pledge, and the proposed Building Safety Bill is yet another piecemeal solution for some people, at best. UKCAG explains what’s happening here. Bankruptcies and years of living in unsafe housing are set to continue for many.
This is why everyone needs to support the protest on Wednesday 20 April at 1pm in Westminster. It seems likely that following months of talks and lobbying with MPs and government ministers, the movement will have to return to the streets in a major way. This is needed to force the government to legislate to protect all leaseholders from costs and make all buildings safe. As Action for Fire Safety Justice has proved, a developer can be forced to take full responsibility for remediation if the campaign to make them do so is active enough and visible enough. We stand in solidarity with all those fighting back.
The Tories re-announced their ‘solution’ to the building safety crisis in the Budget last week, a £5bn fund to tackle fire safety remediation. Of course this money is a fraction of the £5 – £50bn that remediation is expected to cost. This was accompanied, as usual, by warm words about how leaseholders should not have to pay. If they thought they could put a dampener on the planned protests on Saturday, they were very wrong. There were eight protests and seven of them were live streamed into the Building Safety Crisis rally online. We were delighted to support the protests in person and by providing the tech support.
We heard, a couple of days before the day of action that Michael Gove had called leaseholders in for a meeting. Michael Gove is the Secretary of State for Levelling Up (sic), Housing and Communities. We think there is little doubt that the publicity around the upcoming protests played a role in his decision to meet leaseholders. Following the protests we are reliably informed that there is more interest in the press and parliament for a real solution – the Polluter Pays Bill.
We demanded that the Government makes Developers pay! The costs to fix fire safety issues should not fall on tenants or leaseholders. Speakers were: Chloe Waite, Action for Fire Safety Justice Tanya Murat, Homes For All Jenni Garrett, End Our Cladding Scandal Matt Wrack, FBU Georgie Hume, CLADDAG Chair, Moyra Samuels, Grenfell Campaigner Protests featured at the online rally were: ⁕ London City Hal l⁕ Abbey Quays Barking ⁕ Upton Park ⁕ Ipswich Waterfront ⁕ Stotfold ⁕ Bristol City Hall ⁕ Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights
REPORT: This ITV report is a good example of the coverage we received.
On Monday 14th June, Homes for All is calling for supporters to remember the 72 lives lost and to stand in solidarity with the survivors and bereaved of the Grenfell fire. This must never happen again.
We are asking people to join their friends, workmates, family and neighbours. Make a placard using the slogans below and bring a candle.
Where? Your protest or vigil could be at work, after college, at a developers’ showroom or town hall. It’s up to you.
The important thing is to come together, discuss how we can achieve our demands for justice and have a visible show of solidarity. Take photos and post them on social media.