Grenfell bonfire effigy prompts South Norwood silent march

Residents and community groups in South Norwood are coming together for a silent march next Wednesday, in solidarity with the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and to demonstrate their rejection of the racist bigotry displayed earlier this week in a “despicable” Bonfire Night stunt.

Six men have been arrested on public order offences since Monday. At least two of those arrested are from South Norwood.

Footage was posted on social media showing a model depicting Grenfell Tower, with figures of residents at the windows, being set alight in a back garden.

On Tuesday, police spent two hours searching a property in South Norwood, which is suggested as the venue for the Bonfire Night party.

Seventy-two people died in the Grenfell disaster in June 2017.

The mocking video caused widespread revulsion, and was even criticised by the Prime Minister. Survivor groups condemned the effigy-burning as “grotesque”, while Justice for Grenfell described those involved as “despicable”.

Justice for Grenfell stages a silent march near the tower, in north Kensington, on the 14th of every month, to remember those who died and to signal the on-going fight for justice.

Ian Bone: silent marcher

Now community groups in South Norwood – led by the South Norwood Tourist Board – want to do something similar next week, to show the utter rejection of the crass insensitivity shown in the video and by the men who made it.

In a poster to publicise the event, which is due to begin at 6pm at Station Road, they say the march is “to apologise for the idiots in our midst” and “to show that they don’t speak for us”.

The Tourist Board’s Ian Bone – himself a resident of Grenfell Tower in the past – said: “Let’s show Grenfell that we stand with them and are sickened by the actions of a small minority in our area.”

A source close to the organisers of next week’s silent march suggested to Inside Croydon that it is unlikely to last longer than 10 minutes. “Ian’s never silent for long,” they said.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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