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BROKEN promises over rehousing survivors of the Grenfell disaster has prompted a “steely rage” within local communities, a key member of the Justice4Grenfell campaign has said.
Moyra Samuels told a fringe meeting at the CWU conference in Bournemouth organised by Stand Up To Racism that she believed that racism was one of the reasons families were still stuck in temporary or emergency accommodation almost a year on.
She said that, at first, people “didn’t think of the implications” of how race impacted on attempts to rehouse survivors, saying that “we thought Grenfell was a consequence of an attack on our class.”
But, noting that Grenfell was known locally as the “Moroccan tower,” she said that “50 of the 72 people who died were from a Muslim background.
She said: “Suddenly, people were starting to put together why the response to them was so slow … why they were continuing to be ignored, before the fire and after.
“Let’s remind ourselves of this Home Secretary [Theresa May], one of the most racist Home Secretaries that I think we have had.
“She presided over mass deportations, she presided over ‘Go Home’ vans, she also presided over … allowing refugees to drown at sea just so that she could create a hostile environment for refugees and migrants.”
But Ms Samuels added that “it’s not all doom and gloom … because our community has come together. We say hello to each other on the street … we go out, we give support, we look out for each other.”
She concluded that “we are a little bit battle-weary” but there is “a steely rage within our communities” and campaigners will continue to fight to ensure survivors are given “secure housing with the tenancy agreements that they had before the fire.”
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