NEWS
13/06/2019 08:58 BST | Updated 13/06/2019 11:47 BST

Grenfell Survivors Project Tower Blocks With Fire Safety Warnings

Campaigners used guerrilla techniques in London, Newcastle and Manchester.

High rise tower blocks across the UK have been lit up with messages about fire safety by survivors and bereaved families of the Grenfell Tower disaster. 

Ahead of the second anniversary of the fire which killed 72 people, images have been projected onto tower blocks in Manchester, Newcastle and London to send a message to the government demanding change. 

In Newcastle the projection onto Cruddas Park House, a 25 storey block for over 50s read: 2 years after Grenfell and the fire doors in this building still don’t work. 

On the NV Building in Manchester, which has 246 flats and is clad in dangerous HPL cladding that is not covered by the government cladding removal fund, read: 2 years after Grenfell and this building is still covered in dangerous cladding. 

Grenfell United
The NV Building in Manchester.

In London, the projection onto Frinstead House, which is a 20-storey block metres away from Grenfell Tower on the same Silchester Estate, read: 2 years after Grenfell, this block still has no sprinklers.

Each message projected onto the blocks highlighted a genuine safety concern of the residents who live in that exact block, campaigners said.

Natasha Elcock, chair of Grenfell United and a survivor from the tower, said they wanted to send a “strong message”.

“It’s been two years since Grenfell and people are still going to bed at night worried that a fire like Grenfell could happen to them,” she said. “After the fire we were promised that blocks would be made safe. Two years later we cannot wait any longer, we need action now so everyone is safe in their homes.”

Grenfell United
The projection on Frinstead House, London

Grenfell United is campaigning for a social housing regulator that will ensure tenants are listened to when they raise concerns, and for all dangerous materials including cladding to be banned and removed from homes.

Campaigners have also urged the next prime minister to be “on the right side of history” ahead of the two-year anniversary of the fire.

Whoever takes over from Theresa May – who stood down as Tory leader last Friday – must prioritise the tragedy, Karim Mussilhy, whose uncle died in the fire, said.

Hesham Rahman was one of the 71 people to die when the west London high-rise caught fire on June 14 2017, while another resident died months later.

Mussilhy, vice-chair of Grenfell United, said: “Our message to the government is simple but we needed the biggest possible platform to make them listen.”

Grenfell United
Cruddas Park House in Newcastle.

He said it was important to keep up the momentum because “there are many other Grenfell Towers out there”.

The 33-year-old father of two said: “We don’t know who it’s going to be and, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter, because the pressure will continuously be applied by us, and hopefully we can have a similar if not better relationship with the next person.”

He said he had visited residents in Newcastle last week and had heard about they had raised concerns but were being ignored. 

“That’s what happened to residents in Grenfell before the fire. We have to change the culture in social housing so people are treated with respect,” he said.

“By raising our voices together and uniting blocks across the country, we cannot be ignored. We are so proud to stand alongside residents in Newcastle and Manchester who have been campaigning to be heard. Two year after Grenfell we are coming together and our voices can only get louder.”

Reuters

Kensington and Chelsea Council also called on the future PM to honour promises or “risk losing what little trust there is”.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell said: “The Government has made many commitments to the families from the tower, the community around the tower, and to people right across London – so no matter who the next PM is, they need to honour those commitments or risk losing what very little trust there is.

Survivors and the bereaved will gather by the tower on Friday to remember their loved ones.