Grenfell Tower protests: Activists shut down streets of Kensington and Notting Hill with march for victims of tower fire

Grenfell Tower protests: Activists shut down streets of Kensington and Notting Hill with march for victims of tower fire

.Activists shut down the streets of west London as they staged a march demanding justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Kensington and Notting Hill on Friday evening amid mounting anger over the official response to the tragedy.

Young men on bicycles rode at the front of the protest ringing their bells, while people on foot behind them waved placards and chanted: “We want justice” and “No justice, no peace.”

A slogan on one of the banners held aloft read: “KCTMO [the company that managed the tower block] has blood on their hands”.

The protesters paused along Kensington Church Street, stopping near Notting Hill Gate station to give speeches by loudspeaker. One speaker cried out: “I want justice for Grenfell” several times.

Another woman told the Standard: “I’m here to shout at the top of my lungs that this is not fair.”

Melissa North, 25, who owns an art studio near to Notting Hill Methodist Church, was on the street with local residents watching the protest go past.

She told the Standard: “It’s good for people to get their voices heard. People are just shell shocked – and there’s a lot of anger.

“We had an open studio event planned this weekend and were considering cancelling it but now we are going to do it to raise money to help.”

The group eventually gathered on Lancaster Road, near to the methodist church in the shadow of the burned out shell of Grenfell Tower.

Police stopped them proceeding any further with metal barriers and uniformed officers forming a line at the front of the demonstration.

Protestors congregated outside the church, where missing posters are tacked to road signs and railings.

Men, women and children stopped to light candles in front of floral tributes laid outside the church.

Some activists locked police standing in the line in tense conversations, with one man saying: “People are dead. Look at that building. Do you have any empathy?”

Meanwhile others continued to address the crowd on loudspeakers, urging them to turn up to future demonstrations.

Earlier, hundreds had gathered outside Kensington Town Hall demanding answers from the authorities before dozens of them stormed inside the building.

A second impromptu protest was held outside Whitehall where those taking part expressed their anger at the Government’s response to the tragedy which left at least 30 people dead.

It came as Theresa May was heckled with yells of “shame on you” after meeting fire victims at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the blaze.

She has pledged five million pounds of Government funding to be spent on emergency supplies, food and clothing for the victims.

In an update on Friday, police confirmed at least 30 people had died in the fire and that the death toll was still expected to rise.

Firefighters were continuing their search of the 24-storey west London for the bodies of those killed.
http://www.standard.co.uk

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