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Solidarity with the victims of Grenfell

Today, seven years on, we remember the Grenfell Tower fire, in which at least 72 people lost their lives. 

Once again we express our solidarity with the bereaved, survivors and wider community of the Grenfell Tower in their ongoing search for justice. 

Their fight is a fight that concerns every single one of us. 

Today and everyday we fight for the people of Grenfell. We fight for the victims, the survivors, and the wider community.

We fight against the deregulation that allows the insulation manufacturer Celotex, the distributor SIG Technical Services, the US cladding firm Arconic, and the fire engineers Exova, to cut corners, flout regulations and knowingly sell deadly materials all for the sake of profit. 

We fight against a political culture and system that rewards profit at the expense of people’s lives and a politics that reduces the lives of working class residents across the UK to a cost-benefit analysis. Emails revealed that councillors and officials from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea saw Grenfell Tower as just one of the ‘poorer performing assets in the housing stock’, not worth spending money on. In a sea of mansions and luxury flats, in one of the richest boroughs in Europe, the residents of Grenfell were sacrificed to save £300,000.

We fight against the people who ignored, harassed or gagged the tenants who raised concerns. Ignoring concerns is an experience shared by tenants across the UK. In Lochend, Living Rent members who have asked for simple repairs for years were forgotten and ignored by the council until they joined Living Rent and fought and won a commitment from the council to fund £18m a year in retrofits.

We fight against a racist housing system in which BAME households remain more likely to experience poor housing quality, fuel poverty, homelessness and overcrowding.

We fight against a hostile environment that saw many flats overcrowded with immigrant families. In Glasgow, people seeking asylum have been forcefully removed from their homes into cramped, degrading and unsafe hotels by the private contractor Mears. And then when granted asylum, refugees are being given days before they are evicted with no ability to access housing and no thought as to where they will live. 

And we fight for tenants. We fight for tens of thousands still living in buildings covered in flammable cladding, and we fight for the millions of tenants – overwhelmingly working-class, black and minority ethnic tenants – trapped in unsafe, unaffordable, insecure and badly-maintained housing. In September 2022 in Bristol, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, Abdul Jabar Oryakhel lost his life in a high rise fire. In response members of ACORN knocked over 1000 doors which were predominantlyBAME households to form a campaign to win over £100m from the council in the form of fire safety wardens, sprinklers and improved cladding. 

We fight to ensure that we meet the Grenfell community’s call to never forget and to build real housing justice, and ensure: ‘never again.’

Alone politicians, contractors, companies and landlords can ignore us but united together we are able to fight back and get what we deserve.

Today we remember Grenfell and organise to ensure never again.

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