London, 16 June 2022 – Two separate worlds: the official one inside Westminster Abbey memorial ceremony, and the real one around the Grenfell Tower.
We were among the thousands who gathered to support Grenfell’s survivors at five years from the fire: 72 dead, no justice made, as yet.
The difference between the two memorials tells about a government scared of showing up and facing people, averting through any possible strategy to take their own responsibilities and, first and foremost, avoiding being contested publicly: it would be a reputational damage. Those who today a depriving people of their basic support and are systemically attacking and destroying social housing, attended the comfortable, closed doors ceremony inside the Abbey.
Outside, below and around Grenfell Tower, not only Kensington residents, but also a huge crowd gathered with signs telling what the root of the problem is:
Compared to last year, the event was far more crowdy, maximum one and a half thousands in 2021, 3 to 4 thousands this year; and the scope of the signs, speeches and comments not only addressed the scandal and the injustice as the inquiry into the fire did not lead to any trial or arrests, but went beyond the tragedy by denouncing cuts on social housing, disregard for disable and the elderly, nstitutional racism, anti immigrant policies in full violation of Human Rights international law.
Nobody at last years’ silent march was bearing this signs in the photo above. More and more people understand Grenfell fire and unpunished responsible still uncharged are symbols of twelve years Tory rule, a cross many bear silently marching with the hope “Change is gonna come”, one of the songs of a memorial of notes, silence, signs and meaningful presence.
What emerges from this fifth Memorial of a tragedy broadcasted live globally with watchers in any country holding their breath for the people, families, children, elderly inside the tower, is a country, Britain, in the hands of an elite totally detached from the real society, an upper class who is pursuing a witty and constructive strategy of attack on all political and social rights and consequent freedoms of their ‘subdued’; the core strategy is the dis-empowerment of the haves-not.
This is one of the reasons the presence of the Royals, symbol of British constitution, has been important as a sign that the core of the country institutions is on Grenfell’s victims side; all this days after Prince Charles expressed his distance from the Rwanda deportation new law.
The Royals, William and Kate, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were in a place of symbolic relevance to the country (and beyond) the ruling government wasn’t: this is the actual fact which speaks for itself.
Watch video from the Memorial: