After the Grenfell Tower Fire

Cohen, Sheila

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23289

A look at the grave injustice surrounding the Grenfell Tower fire, from the way residents were treated before and after the disaster and the austerity measures that exacerbated it - such as cuts to fire departments.



More than six months after the horrific fire in London's Grenfell Tower, which in mid-June 2017 killed 81 and wounded countless more in mind as well as in body. the ruins of the 20-story block still stand as a potent symbol of social injustice in one of the richest areas in Britain. And this neighborhood’s domination by wealth has undoubtedly influenced many aspects of the investigation into that unspeakable disaster.

As for the Inquiry into the fire, when its Chair remarked that he hoped it would provide "a small measure of solace" for the victims' families, one journalist justly commented: "It's an error of gargantuan, class-ridden insensitivity to talk in such terms to people some of whom have survived an inferno and have lost everything."

One particularly outrageous example of such insensitivity was the revelation in mid-September 2017 that the chief executive of the organization "managing" the block was still being paid his full six-figure salary, despite being forced to resign in the wake of the carnage.

But overshadowing even this iniquity is the decision by the judge in charge of the Grenfell Inquiry - the far from plebeian Sir Martin Moore-Bick - to ban Grenfell tenants themselves from giving evidence to the inquiry. What would they know about it, after all?

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