Rage for Grenfell

Grenfell Residents spoke calling for a peaceful protest. The organisers assured them that they had always intended for the protest to be peaceful and that stories about violence were simply a deliberate media distortion

We could I think do with a little more rage. So many things happening now that would justify it, including the current crisis in the NHS, underfunded for years, crippled by PFI debt and being increasingly privatised to  the benefit of Mr Branson and other friends of the Tories – many of whom have shares in the companies that are taking it over. Then there are the railways, suffering from a disastrous and wholly unsuitable privatisation, with huge subsidies going to the privatised franchises, sending large profits to nationalised European railway companies so they can continue to provide rail services at a quarter or a fifth of what we pay. And so on. And while we should be raging and be out on the streets like those currently protesting in Iran we go on, moaning a little but largely soaking up the lies of a right wing press and a media which supports the status quo rather than demanding justice and change.

Grenfell gave just a little glimpse of what is wrong with the way our society is run – and also showed a magnificient response of ordinary people to a tragedy.  But while many people – including both rich and poor – responded with humanity, it also showed the complete failure of the local council and the duplicity of our national government in their response – and soon their were vultures swarming in to try and take things over for their own profits, sadly including some major charities.

Movement for Justice were I think entirely right to call for a ‘Day of Rage’ over Grenfell, though this led to a frenzy of denigration in our right-wing media. We should all be angry and calling for the truth to come out and for justice to be done. It wasn’t a call for barricades in the street and riots, but for an end to the customary hiding under carpets and long grass that is the usual response of our political establishment.

Over six months later little has been done by the authorities for those severely affected by the fire, the survivors from the tower and the surrounding properties made uninhabitable. Many families spent Christmas in overcrowded hotel rooms, some without the cash payments they were entitled too because of administrative incompetence. And many have not received the kind of mental health support and counselling they need, with several suicides. Promises made by Theresa May and the government have largely turned out to be empty words, and most local people have lost faith in an inquiry which is sidelining them and their concerns, while the police have failed so far to bring charges against those responsible for the tragedy.

‘Day of Rage’ march for Grenfell


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