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The New Arab Staff

Green for Grenfell: UK lights up to remember victims of deadly blaze

Date of publication: 14 June, 2020

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Homes across the UK were lit up in green on Sunday night to commemorate the 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno three years ago.
Millions of Britons commemorated the third anniversary of the horrific Grenfell Tower fire on Sunday, paying tribute to the 72 people that died in the deadly blaze.

The event was marked online this year to abide by the social distancing measures imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Community members and survivors organised a range of tributes to mark the occasion, including multiple live streams across social media platforms, as well as a symbolic move to illuminate homes across the UK in green after 10.30pm - the colour that has since 2017 come to identify the Grenfell cause.

Faith leaders from the local community also took part in the commemoration events, delivering sermons from their homes online.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute to the victims of the deadly blaze, saying the country was working to ensure such a disaster would not be repeated.

However, survivors and members of the local West London community have taken aim at the government, who they say has failed to adequately respond to the inferno even three years on. 

Survivors have yet to be moved from temporary housing and thousands of people across the UK still live in high-rise buildings wrapped in similar combustible cladding that set the Grenfell Tower ablaze in 2017, activists said online.

"No one should ever go through the loss and pain they experienced," Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour party said. "But three years on and, unbelievably, tonight people will go to bed in unsafe homes.

"Three years on and there has been little justice or accountability. Three years on their campaign continues."

Read also: The statues are tumbling down, the structures of racism must follow

Grenfell Tower, located in the heart of London's wealthiest areas, was set alight in the early hours of 14 June, 2017 after a fire incident in the kitchen of a 4th floor apartment. Within minutes, the whole tower was engulfed in flames with dozens of residents instructed by authorities to stay locked indoors as per safety protocol.

The tower had no alarms or sprinklers, and documents that surfaced in the aftermath of the blaze showed the residents had raised concerns over fire safety in the tower block for several years prior to the incident.

A public inquiry into the disaster - the worst blaze since World War Two - was paused in March because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and is due to restart on 6 July.

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