imageI struggled writing this. In fact I didn’t want to write this at all. I shouldn’t be writing this because quite frankly it shouldn’t have happened. After hours of interviews, hours of debate and a seemingly endless stream of consciousness, one thing is certain, this was no tragedy. This is a disaster, the likes of which will never be forgotten and should be spoken about as such. Many are suggesting that the death toll could rise to the hundreds and this is only the beginning.

As we now stare at what has become a painful reminder of everything that is wrong with capitalism, the greed, the disregard of life that is seen in the face of profit, we must demand justice. The cosmetic use of unsafe cladding to appease tourist and rich people who are viewing the building is, was and will always be a disgrace. Austerity and greed, the combination that is responsible for this unbelievable destruction… the price for a proper standard of living should not be death.

With a public inquiry announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, we must be clear about what this means. This is a government led investigation, how can we expect the government to fairly investigate the government? It’s a conflict of interest, very similar to new housing regulations that conservative MPs voted against, despite almost 80 of the MPs profiting from this. What we need now is an inquest, separate of government, with no conflict of interest or bias, an inquest for justice.

I initially didn’t want to write anything. I wanted to collate all of the facts around the situation before speaking on it out of the fear of being clouded by emotions. But it’s these same emotions that carried me and so many others, whether it was those who were bringing supplies for the survivors, those who were organising supplies or just those who where there to show solidarity and strength in numbers. The community started to walk what will inevitably be a long road to justice and healing, a community that is now mourning loss and once again being shown by the establishment that we do not matter.

The tower now stands as a testament for what happened here. A symbol of disaster and pain, a reminder for us all. I’d like to end by offering my condolences to the victims and all those who were affected by this disaster. Your lives were abruptly and prematurely taken by a system which has shown time and time again that poor people are disposable. A system which was never built for us to thrive, a system that fully intends to separate people and base their value as a human on their ability to generate money. This is not a broken system, this is austerity working exactly how it was designed to work.

Long Live Latimer, Rest In Peace to all. SBIW, Asya Valentine





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