Residents furious over the handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster descended upon the local town hall in west London Friday afternoon, pushing their way into the building and shouting, “we want justice.”
Protesters, some holding fliers or wearing t-shirts with images of missing people, mounted the front steps and pushed their way into the building.
Some attempted to force their way past security personnel to the upper floors at the headquarters of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
One man approached a TV camera, saying, “We want answers and justice.” People did not favor violence but were desperate for information, he said.
Theresa May, Britain’s embattled Prime Minister, visiting nearby, was bundled away by security guards after protesters converged on the street. May has already faced criticism for failing to meet residents when she made a low-key visit to the scene Thursday.
The UK government, which has already promised a full public inquiry, announced a $6.4M ($5M) fund to help those affected by the blaze.
The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, demanded that the government publish a list of other tower blocks checked by investigators by the end of Friday. In a letter to May, he listed a litany of concerns raised by residents, including the lack of information about missing relatives, the chaotic response of the local council, and concerns about safety in other tower blocks.
“They feel the government and local council haven’t done enough to help them in the aftermath of this horrific incident, or to provide answers to their increasingly urgent questions,” Khan wrote in the letter.
Residents are furious that many of the victims have not yet been found or identified, and believe authorities have been downplaying the number of victims. They believe that their longstanding concerns over fire safety at Grenfell Tower were not adequately addressed.
Police said Friday that 30 people were confirmed to have died, but residents believe that up to 70 people perished in the blaze.
SOURCE: James Masters