‘We are enraged at government whose sole focus is profit’

Grenfell United, the group representing the bereaved and survivors, this morning issued the following statement, on the fifth anniversary of the tower block fire in London that claimed the lives of 72 people

72 lives lost: five years on, the bereaved and survivors feel badly let down

Today, we remember the 72 beautiful souls lost that night. To ensure their memories live on.

Those in power called them “nameless”. They were not nameless. They were treasured, loved and ours.

Today is about honouring the 72 innocent men, women and children who lost their lives that night.

We must never forget them. We must carry them with us forever, in our hearts.

Five years on, as much as we try to move on, how can we with the knowledge that this can still happen? How can we move on when next to nothing has changed?

Five years on, another Grenfell is still a very real possibility. This government should feel ashamed at its complete lack of action and continued carelessness for the 72 lives so needlessly lost.

It’s hard to carry on when day in and day out for the last five years we’ve had to hear just how corrupt and rotten the system is.

It’s hard to heal when we are the ones forced to police a system that’s meant to protect us.

It’s understandable that many think we would have moved on by now. But it’s hard to recover when so little changes. The reality is it’s still as painful now, as it was then.

On thanking the community and the wider public

On that night five years ago, the community and the wider public from all over the country came in solidarity and opened their hearts to support our community.

Today, we remember the generosity the public showed us. We want to give thanks for everything they did then and have continued to do since. It’s this support that has given us the strength to keep going.

It showed the power of unity, of people coming together, regardless of their faith, race or background; uniting in the face of adversity.

Five years on, the bereaved families, survivors and the community remain united. A testament to the strength of our community and its resources.


We are enraged at the government, whose sole focus continues to be profit and not public safety.

Five years on, the government has reverted back to the same policy in place before Grenfell.

This policy resulted in 41per cent of those living with disabilities dying at Grenfell.

It left them with no personal evacuation plan and no means of escape. They didn’t stand a chance.

For five years we’ve had to endure government’s games. We’ve been forced to hold them to account to create a legacy of meaningful change.

On justice

We don’t want our 72 to be remembered for what happened, but for what changed.

But for five years we’ve been forced to fight

This is a pattern; a system built to prevent justice and protect those in power, as long as this system exists, we face the same unachievable battle as the many before us. From Aberfan, to Hillsborough, justice has been denied and Grenfell is no different.

Hours after the fire, a public inquiry was announced. We wanted the criminal investigation to go first, but we had no choice. It raises the question – what is the point of an inquiry if nothing comes from it? Look at the history of inquiries in this country. Are inquiries there to slow down justice? To deny justice?

They left us to search for answers, they mocked us publicly, now they stand in the way of justice.

We must pave a new way forward. We must hold those responsible to account.

On the children

As much as this day is to bring to light what happened that night, we cannot forget the impact this has had on our families.

Grenfell claimed the lives of 18 innocent children who had their whole lives ahead of them but weren’t given a chance to fulfil their dreams.

We cannot underestimate the impact Grenfell has had on our children. Their childhood was taken away from them and the world became a very different place.

They, too, have had to face an ugly reality – that those who had a duty of care for them, exposed them to horrors that no one should ever see.

The children will be at the heart of today’s event so that they know their voice will never be silenced as our voices were.

On legacy

We don’t want our 72 to be remembered for what happened, but for what changed.

We speak about legacy for our loved ones but in reality, what we’re fighting for are basic human rights. We ask for people to be safe, respected and to be treated equally.

However, over the last five years, the government has bartered with us every step of the way.

They haven’t given us a chance to think about what a true legacy would be. Instead, they’ve distracted us with their games and forced us to police them. But ultimately, they’ve made us feel like our 72 loved ones’ lives are constantly being evaluated.

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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