FURY BURNS IN HEARTS OF LOCALS
SHOUTING “Killers!” and “We want justice”, dozens of people stormed the town hall in London’s richest borough, accusing the authorities of ignoring the plight of the victims of the Grenfell Tower block blaze. Three days after fire ripped through the 24-storey block, killing dozens of people, residents are desperate for answers — and for the bodies of their loved ones, many of whom are still inside.
During an angry protest outside the headquarters of the offices of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which manages the social housing block, a group broke off and scuffled with security guards in the lobby of the red-brick building.
“Shame on you!”, they shouted in a stand-off involving around 30 people, as many police officers, as well as a dozen security guards.
Hundreds of people, including singer and human rights campaigner Lily Allen, were protesting outside, holding up signs saying “Justice for Grenfell”.
One protester held up a “Wanted” poster for an executive who manages the building, accusing him of “corporate manslaughter”.
“It is criminal to wrap homes in flammable plastic,” another sign read after it emerged cladding installed on the exterior walls as part of a recent refurbishment was not fire-resistant.
Residents had long complained about fire safety risks at Grenfell Tower, but said the concerns of the multi-ethnic, largely working-class inhabitants had been brushed off by local authorities.
“We are in the richest borough in the UK and in this very borough we have a building where some of the poorest live and the safety measures are totally inadequate,” Mustafa Al Man rally organisers, said.
“We need to know what commitment the council is tak ensure this tragedy is not repe
“We need to know exactly number of people who were th during this tragedy.”
There were chaotic scenes protesters shouted through a loudspeaker, with one saying: death trap and they knew it.”
The protesters also held up of those feared dead, as the cr shouted: “No justice, no peace
“We are not here to trouble We just want answers,” said S
Buamani, 25, who attended the protest with her three-year-old niece on her shoulders.
“I have friends in the tower and they are not telling us anything. We can’t respect the bodies.”
Many of those in the crowd were calling for the remains of their loved ones to be returned, highlighting how survivors had described walking over bodies on the stairwell as they fled.
“They (the authorities) are clearly aware roughly of the number of bodies,” said local resident Karen Brown, 36, whose friend’s 12-year-old daughter Jessica was among those missing.
“The fact that they are not telling people is very frustrating. We are not stupid, we are aware people are dead. Just tell them!”
The crowds moved back towards the blackened tower, gaining numbers until several thousands were marching through the affluent streets around Notting Hill.
Anger was largely directed at Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who was earlier heckled and booed after visiting survivors in a church nearby.
“Theresa May it’s time to go,” they shouted, while others held up banners saying “Tories out”.
Protesters on the streets of London and (inset left) Prince William at the scene. Pictures: AP, Getty The Queen at a very sombre Trooping the Colour yesterday