Justice For Grenfell

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Over 170 years after Engels, Britain is still a country that murders its poor

The victims of Grenfell Tower didn’t just die. Austerity, outsourcing and deregulation killed them – just as Victorian Manchester killed the poor then.

While in Victorian Manchester, Friedrich Engels struggled to name the crime visited on children whose limbs were mangled by factory machines, or whose parents were killed in unsafe homes. Murder and manslaughter were committed by individuals, but these atrocities were something else: what he called social murder. “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual,” he wrote in 1845, in The Condition of the Working Class in England.

Over 170 years later, Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable. Those dozens of Grenfell residents didn’t die: they were killed. What happened last week wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

While in Victorian Manchester, Friedrich Engels struggled to name the crime visited on children whose limbs were mangled by factory machines, or whose parents were killed in unsafe homes. Murder and manslaughter were committed by individuals, but these atrocities were something else: what he called social murder. “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual,” he wrote in 1845, in The Condition of the Working Class in England.Over 170 years later, Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable. Those dozens of Grenfell residents didn’t die: they were killed. What happened last week wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

Please continue reading the entire article
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

Austerity killed the victims of Grenfell –  the deadliest fire in Britain since the country began keeping records at the turn of the 20th century, claiming at least 87 victims  – as it has killed the victims of cruel Tory welfare reforms, and those who have died as a result of cuts to the NHS Austerity will continue to kill the most vulnerable members of our society while the small majority continue to sanction by their vote the gravely unjust treatment of poor people.

Behind austerity is the greed of the rich who get tax cuts at the expense of the poor/working class, greedy exploitative employers who want employees to literally work for nothing   – there are few laws to protect workers. The list of exploitation of the poor is lengthy and by far the worst example is the Grenfell tower. Eighty people died in the fire because of pure unadulterated greed for a grand saving of £2 a square metre for cladding, about £5,000, of an £8 million refurbishing contract, cladding which was banned in the USA. Further tests show that cladding from 190 tower blocks in 51 local authority areas across England is unsafe and there is a 100 percent failure rate in fire safety tests on cladding used in public high rise buildings.  The British government did not ban the cladding used at Grenfell. Thanks to cuts to local councils, and the slashing of red tape, building inspection has been gutted and privatized. The recent refurbishment of Grenfell was sub-contracted, and a fire-resistant cladding alternative was jettisoned in favor of the cheaper option.

Tory economic polices are designed to move money from the poor to the rich and in the process people are dying.

How many more people have to die before those who vote Tory finally decide enough is enough!

Take Action

Don’t let the shock and horror of this atrocity fade into obscurity

Please sign the following petitions:

This government must carry out a FULLY TRANSPARENT INVESTIGATION into the Grenfell tragedy

The investigation into the Grenfell tragedy must be FULLY TRANSPARENT and allow the MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION of the affected residents, their families, and the surrounding community. The government cannot be allowed to cover up any uncomfortable revelations about negligence and poor planning of the Grenfell estate by the Tory-run Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://www.change.org/p/this-government-must-carry-out-a-fully-transparent-investigation-into-the-grenfell-tragedy-allowing-for-meaningful-participation-of-the-residents-their-families-and-the-surrounding-community-their-voices-must-be-heard

Grenfell Tower: never again

The government were warned time and time again of the fire risks in blocks of flats like this. But these warnings were ignored. Now, pressure is growing for the government to change the law to make buildings like Grenfell Tower safer when there is a fire.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/grenfell_tower

Please sign to help ensure justice for all victims of Grenfell:

We, the undersigned, call on the Government to announce an immediate amnesty, with permanent residency, for surviving occupants of Grenfell Tower.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://goodlawproject.org/petition/grenfell-disaster-petition/

You may also want to write to your MP and express you concerns, your anger and outrage. Please be polite.

Contact Your MP:
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Related Links

London’s Grenfell Disaster is An Indictment of Austerity

The fire’s victims were caught in the crosshairs of public cuts and a housing crisis.
http://inthesetimes.com/article/20296/londons-grenfell-disaster-is-an-indictment-of-austerity

Examples of Tory welfare reforms kill

BENEFIT TALES -stories from the frontline of benefit changes in the UK.
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/category/death-after-fit-to-work-decision/

“The rich have broken Britain and it’s the poorest who are paying

The rise in tax breaks for the ultra-rich and austerity measures for everyone else has left Britain on the brink, says Mail Opinion.

Read More
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/rich-broken-britain-its-poorest-10099743

 

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Please Take Action to Help Prevent the Tragedy of Grenfell Tower Ever Happening Again

“Something you can’t avoid is that Kensington is a tale of two cities,”

“The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the whole country. The ward where this fire took place is, I think, the poorest ward in the whole country.”

Jermey Corbyn https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-fire-inequality-idUSKBN1962XI

My heartfelt thoughts go out to all those who died in the terrible Grenfell fire and all who have lost love ones and whose lives will be changed forever as a result of their tragic loss. There are no words that anyone can ever say to mitigate such an awful event.

I am so shocked by this tragedy which should never have happened and no doubt did as consequence of Tory austerity cuts and profit before people.

Most people here in the UK are deeply shocked and saddened by the fire which tore through the tower block of Grenfell in North Kensington in the early hours of Wednesday 14th June.  What makes this tragedy even more awful is the fact that it should never have happened. Seventeen people so far have been confirmed dead many others are in a critical condition in hospital. There are reports of 70 people unaccounted for, so the death toll may be much much higher. Many have lost loved ones, in some cases their entire family.  All have lost their homes, their possessions and along with it their memories. All suffer and will continue to suffer psychological damage. Most tragic of course is the loss of life in the most horrific way imaginable. 

It must never happen again.

How many people have to die as a result of Tory Austerity cuts to services including the reduction of fire services and their general attitude towards poorer people – I very much doubt this would happen in a luxury private apartment block where fire precautions of the highest standard would be in place. The Tory run council have neglected the safety and well being of the poorest people in the entire country in favor of policies favoring the interests of the rich. It has been suggested that the main purpose of the cladding was for aesthetic reasons for the benefits of Kensingon’s wealthy inhabitants whose expensive apartments overlook the Tower blocks:

Listen to what the young man has to say in the interview below

You can read more about the reasons why this disaster should never have happened yet it did despite constant concerns directed to the council from Grenfell Action Group:

“Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:”

Click the link to acess
https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/

Please sign and share the petition below. There follows further information and other suggested actions for you to take.

Speak out for the victims of Grenfell
Please sign the petition to make sure this never happens again.
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/grenfell_tower?utm_campaign=speakout_campaign_2277&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=thank_you  

After signing the petition you will be taken to new webpage where you have the opportunity to send an e-mail to the minister responsible for housing regulations.

You may also want to write to your MP and express you concerns, your anger and outrage.

Contact Your MP;
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

In addition you may wish to contact Kensington and Chelsea Borough council :

Please express in no uncertain terms your views concerning this devastating fire which should have not happened:
https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-us

Their postal address:

Town Hall
Hornton Street
W8 7NX

Telephone

Call on 020 7361 3000

Contact them on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/rbkc

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/RoyalBorough/

I know it is tempting to give them a piece of your mind in an abusive way but Please be polite as insulting abusive rhetoric is unlikely to be read.

In your comments to the council and the government you might like to raise some of the following issues

Below you can read about the eight reasons which resulted in this awful disaster including dangerous cladding, a change in the law, single stair case, no sprinklers, missing fire doors, eight failures in all

Eight failures that left people of Grenfell Tower at mercy of the inferno:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/eight-failures-left-people-grenfell-tower-mercy-inferno/

Concerning cladding, in the US no cladding is permitted on buildings taller than 40ft instead a fire-proof one which would have cost £5000 more is used.

The same cladding used in France and Australia resulted in an out break of fire

London fire: Grenfell Tower cladding ‘linked to other fires’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40283980

It has been suggested that empty buildings of which the council of Kensington and Chelsea have the most should be requisitioned to provide homes for those who have last their homes in the fire:

Grenfell Tower fire: Jeremy Corbyn suggests using empty Kensington properties for victims
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/empty-homes-owned-by-overseas-investors-should-be-requisitioned-to-rehouse-grenfell-fire-victims-a7791986.html

This map shows the location of 20,000 empty homes in the capital the highest in Kensington, no one should have to live in tower blocks.
http://metro.co.uk/2017/05/11/map-reveals-shocking-number-of-empty-homes-across-london-6630121/

Frankly it is a disgrace that people sleep in the streets while there are so many homes which stand vacant

This article cites the number of empty homes which are vacant as 57,000:
http://metro.co.uk/2016/04/08/need-a-place-to-live-almost-57000-london-homes-are-lying-empty-5804072/

Related links

Theresa May Avoids Survivors of Grenfell Tower Fire During Visit to Scene of Disasterhttps://theintercept.com/2017/06/15/theresa-may-avoids-survivors-grenfell-tower-fire-visit-scene-disaster/

‘Regeneration is a euphemism for ethnic and class cleansing’: Kensington resident and writer

https://www.channel4.com/news/regeneration-is-a-euphemism-for-ethnic-and-class-cleansing-kensington-resident-and-writer