No truer words spoken in this time of mourning where almost a hundred people have died in Grenfell Tower. Each passing day fuels me with anger and sorrow for the Grenfell victims. This didn’t need to happen.
This shocking incident highlights the injustice and negligence practiced by those in high positions, those who seek to cut corners in order to fill their pockets, and do so at the expense of innocent lives. The government and Theresa May’s reaction has been nothing short of useless and beyond disappointing, a “failure” as quoted from the Prime Minster herself. If that building was a multimillion pound luxury apartment full of wealthy people, the fire would have been put out in a blink of an eye. In fact, there would have been fire extinguishers on every floor, sprinklers fitted, fire alarms up-to-date and working, adequate fire escapes and there certainly would’t be flammable cladding on the exterior of the building.
These people like you and I, died long before they actually met their horrific deaths, they were dead to the council and the government, it only just manifested itself on the 14th June 2017. They died the moment their pleads for safety were ignored.
The events that lead up to this incident, during and after plays into the idea many of us have held onto for some time now. London is undergoing a social cleansing, this has been the agenda of the Tories since coming into power, profits over people is their motto. Evidence unfolding from this tragic event only prove this once a speculative idea, to be in fact true. Day by day more incriminating details emerge, from the constant complaints and worries voiced by the tenants ignored by the authorities, the use of cheap flammable materials to make the exterior look less of an eye sore to its wealthy neighbours, today we found out that many of the victims were poisoned by cyanide, a toxic gas given off by the burning insulation, the same lethal substance used during Nazi Germany’s gas chambers. In the words of MP David Lammy “this was criminal”, an accident waiting to happen, arrests need to be made and quick. We need justice.
What pains me is that these were ordinary people and could have easily been anyone. Many on the brink of a breakthrough like the talented artist Khadija Saye, 24, who lived on the 20th floor with her mother. Her beautiful work is on show at the Venice Biennale. Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali, 23, was studying civil engineering at the university of West London, lived on the 14th floor of the block. His brother Omar, 25, managed to escape from the fire after becoming separated from Mohammad, who was unable to get to safety. They fled from one tragedy just to meet another. Many untapped talents, if given the opportunity to reach their potentials could have easily been able to move out of Grenfell and into one of the million pound houses that the tower overlooks. Now we will never know.
“In this age of austerity, the poor die for other’s prosperity” – Ben Okri