Dramatic Grenfell billboards appear outside Tower asking ’71 dead and still no arrests? How come?’

Justice4Grenfell has mounted a dramatic billboard campaign to prevent the public being “desensitised” to the Grenfell Tower tragedy as progress stalls to rebuild survivors’ lives.

Marking 8 months since flames ripped through the 24-storey west London block, campaigners hired three advertising vans to carry billboards saying: “71 dead – And still no arrests? – How come?”

They made their way through central London passing iconic landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament before parking up outside Grenfell Tower, where Yvette Williams, spokeswoman for Justice4Grenfell, met with community leaders and survivors.

Addressing the meeting she said: “These billboards are here because there have still been no arrests, hundreds of survivors remain homeless, and 297 other towers in the UK are still covered in flammable cladding.

The billboards passed by iconic London landmarks

“Furthermore, requests from survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire to appoint a diverse decision-making panel to sit alongside the head of the public inquiry have been denied.”

The billboards were inspired by a scene from the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, following its success at the Golden Globes.

Ms Williams said: “The film … highlights the power of advertising to bring about justice. We wanted to harness this power to remind people how little has been done since the tragic event shook this community, and the country, just over eight months ago.”

Speaking to the Standard she added: “We feel that what happened at Grenfell is slowly coming out of the public consciousness and being downplayed in many ways. We needed to do something to say we’re here, we’re not going away.

The campaign is aimed at bringing Grenfell back onto the agenda

“What happened at Grenfell Tower on June 14 was a national tragedy and we need answers. We don’t want the public to become desensitised to this.”

It is the latest in events marking eight months since the fire as campaigners seek to highlight that survivors are still suffering.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Kensington and Chelsea Council before setting off on a silent walk to Grenfell Tower on Wednesday, holding aloft banners, green hearts and photos of loved ones.

Zeyad Cred, who has lived in the area for decades and was tasked with organising the monthly silent walks, said it was an opportunity to “show the powers that be that we are not going anywhere at all, this will continue to grow, we will continue to unite”.

Last week Kensington and Chelsea was under pressure as many survivors remain without a permanent home.

The council was handed back responsibility for dealing with the crisis in September, although the council is viewed with hostility and mistrust by many residents.

Conman who lied that his wife and son died in Grenfell is jailed

The latest figures show 633 rehoming offers have been made to the 207 households. All of those who have engaged with the council have received at least one offer. Of these, 55 have moved into permanent accommodation and 49 have accepted offers but are in temporary homes and hotels while they wait for sales to complete and flats to be redecorated.

A further 60 are in temporary accommodation while they decide on their offer and the remaining 43 are in emergency accommodation. 

The second procedural hearing in the highly contentious Grenfell Inquiry has meanwhile been announced for March 21 and 22.

The Met Police responded to the campaign to say the “investigation remains ongoing” and there have been no arrests.

Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/dramatic-grenfell-billboards-park-up-outside-tower-asking-71-dead-and-still-no-arrests-how-come-a3767581.html