Grenfell Tower protest spills over into the streets
Hundreds of furious protesters took to the streets of London yesterday, stormed Kensington town hall and called for justice after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
More protesters took to central London before marching on Downing Street calling for the authorities to do more after dozens lost their lives in the inferno.
The Prime Minister came under fire as she visited victims of the tragedy and was heckled as she left.
“We are here today because you must look at that building with tears streaming down your face,” one woman said as they neared the foot of the tower. We need answers and we need answers now,” another man said through a megaphone. “This should not be happening in the United Kingdom.”
Protestors at Kensington town hall were trying to reach councillors in person and demand they answer questions about the block.
They also insisted people made homeless by the fire were rehoused locally.
The victims were commemorated by the protestors; a moments silence was held for the victims, who they said had not been properly acknowledged.
The displays of anger increased pressure on Theresa May over her response to the disaster.
But when she was asked in an interview on Newsnight on Friday night about whether she had misread the public mood, she sidestepped the question.
Theresa May has announced a £5m fund for those affected by the tragedy. However, she needed police protection when she left a church near the scene of the fire where victims are being cared for.
One demonstrator held a placard, which said simply: “I’m livid.” She said: “I’ve come out here because people had no hope. They lost hope with 999, they started WhatsApping their friends and families to say goodbye.
“People were telling them to stay in the building but they had hope because they listened. Use your initiative, don’t trust them, that’s what I’m saying. There are no words. I’m angry, I have children. The screams, the faces, the trauma. Can you imagine children at the windows screaming for their mummies and daddies?”
Protest organisers were encouraging the crowd to remain in place until the council leaders pledged an independent investigation and rehousing for all those affected.
Carolyne Hill, 39, from Brixton, said she had come to the Kensington protest to “make a stand for my fellow Londoners”. She said: “I believe that the council is supposed to protect its people. This council committed basic gross negligence in providing basic human rights in their fire safety. People died in their homes.”