By Thomas L Blair 15 April 2018©
The Grenfell’s annual solidarity march April 14th resembled a Geiger counter: As survivors and supporters emit increasing sounds of distress, they are signalling an explosive truth.
No more dying. No more crying. No more lying. Failed social housing policies and their disastrous results must never happen again.
What does this tell us? A new era of “people-based politics” is birthing. “In light of Grenfell Tower our fire testing and building regulations regime requires an overhaul”, David Lammy, MP for Tottenham told The Independent. Moreover, 50 MPs endorsed this view in a cross-party letter to Sajid Javid, the housing and communities secretary.
In addition, the seeds of change are sown. And herein the Chronicleworld’s Grenfell series has charted the buds of solidarity and solutions.
One, the Notting Hill Carnival encouraged Grenfell mutual aid and self-help I wrote last summer.
“Bowed heads is not enough. Strengthened and inclusive, this 2017 Carnival could be a joyous spectacle that “Al o’ we is one”. 5 August 2017
Two, “When people put the “we” into solving the Grenfell equation, council housing has the chance to be a bastion of equality. And now is the time to prove it. New motives and new moves toward change must be advanced”. 23 August 2017
Three, Rapper Lowkey lashed out at the “political class, so servile to corporate power”… “The blood is on your hands, there’ll be ashes on your grave, like a phoenix we will rise.” September 17, 2017
Four, “The reform-minded digital book, The Poverty of Planning, showed that “Neighbourhood planning and community panels are the bedrock of policy and professional actions”. December 4, 2017
Five, national religious leaders shone a Beacon for Justice. The Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York spoke up for a culture of community action.
December 20, 2017
Six, “Somebody bake a New Year’s Honours cake for Jackie Adams-Bonitto. She’s London Fire Brigade’s highest non-uniformed Black British woman. The honoured MBE trains firefighters in fire safety and rescue, and promotes equality, diversity & inclusion”. January 2, 2018
Seven, “The Grenfell inferno deeply wounded Black and minority ethnic London…Hence, community-led solutions to remove the enduring inequality in the urban housing and social services are urgent”. 11 January 2018
Grenfell Action for Justice
Not every bud of solidarity and solution will survive the withering, technical Grenfell Public Inquiry. The state of public housing will still be a sore issue. Nevertheless, we can detect the intensity of political and community action.
Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney, reports the “#Grenfell Silent walk on 14 May will be to Parliament – coinciding w. MPs debating a diverse panel on inquiry. All MPs must support this”.
In the thick of the controversy, campaigners call for remedial action post-Grenfell. People seek to rise up from tragedy and turmoil to safeguard and increase their well-being. Communities demand NO FIRE NEXT TIME.
NOTE on a housing and civic participation resource
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