UK

Day Of Rage Protest In London Prompts Calls For Demonstration To Remain Peaceful

'Please do not disgrace those who have been affected by Grenfell.'

21/06/2017 11:27 BST | Updated 22/06/2017 09:14 BST

A survivor of the Grenfell Tower disaster has made a desperate plea for the “Day of Rage” protests to remain peaceful.

Mahad Egal, who lived on the fourth floor of the west London tower block that caught fire a week ago, urged protestors not to “disgrace those who have been affected”.

In a video posted on Twitter by musician Sam Duckworth, Egal said: “I know it’s a frustrating time but I would like to send a message out.

“Please to all those who are protesting, we do not need violence in the community, we do not want that in our name.

“So please do not disgrace those who have been affected by Grenfell by resorting to violence.

“We need people to come together, the community has come together.

“Please make sure it’s a peaceful protest so that the victims and survivors of Grenfell can all be heard.

“Please no violence, we need people to come together.”

Duckworth told HuffPost UK that he was not concerned about trouble around the protests, adding: “This community is showing tremendous grace in a terrible time and I would trust that protesters would respect that.”

Others have also pleaded for those taking part in demonstrations to do so peacefully. 

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has been accused of stirring up the situation, urged protesters not to cause any problems. 

According to Sky News, the Clement James Centre, which has been helping those affected by the fire, also urged those taking part to respect the victims.

The centre said: “There has been a ‘Day of Rage’ announced for Wednesday, trying to bring London to a standstill.

“We cannot emphasise enough how against this many of the affected residents we’ve spoken to are and they do not want their grief hijacked for any violent or destructive means.”

Many others joined in the calls.

Though some did point out that the name “Day of Rage” did not help promote the idea of a peaceful protest.

Others suggested this was perhaps somewhat unfair on already-stretched emergency services.

The event’s description on Facebook, set up by the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary, reads:

Bring Down the Government - Shut Down London

* Full amnesty and permanent right to remain in the UK for all Grenfell Tower residents who don’t have immigration papers

* House Grenfell survivors locally NOW - Take over un-occupied houses, flats & mansions in Kensington & Chelsea

* Quality, safe, affordable homes for ALL - Stop driving the poor and racial minorities out of Kensington and out of London – Reverse the privatisation of council housing - Build council homes nationwide – Cap the rents not the benefits

* Expose the corporate greed and corruption that caused the Grenfell Tower fire – Seize and publish ALL records of the companies involved with Grenfell Tower and their dealings with Kensington & Chelsea Council

* Unite the struggles against racism and against poverty

Protestors are meeting at Shepherd’s Bush Green in west London before setting off to march to Parliament Square at 1pm.

While approximately 400 people have indicated they will attend the protest on Facebook, some media reports suggest that “thousands” are expected to attend.

Britons have been encouraged to “walk out of school, take the day off, call in sick, strike” to join the demonstration.

At least 79 people are known to have died in the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council offered to resign after facing widespread criticism of his administration over the disaster.

PA Wire/PA Images
The scorched shell of Grenfell Tower in west London

Nick Paget-Brown said fellow councillors had shown him “overwhelming” support following heavy criticism from residents of the tower, which was engulfed by flames in the early hours of June 14.

He has faced questions over materials used in the council’s £8.6 million refurbishment of the tower, with suggestions that cheap cladding could have played a role in the fire, the Press Association reported.

Other London boroughs and central Government officials were also drafted in to help with relief efforts after the fire as residents claimed council staff were nowhere to be seen.