Grenfell Tower: Grieving community holds silent march to mark one month since tragedy

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Members of the grieving community who live within the shadow of Grenfell Tower have held a silent walk around the burnt-out tower block.

The event, held away from cameras, was in honour of those who were killed in the fatal fire exactly a month ago in west London.

It was also a chance for residents, who are trying to work through trauma, to come together in support and mark the night which changed their lives.

Samia Badani, chairman of the Bramley House Residents Association, broke away from march early because it became “difficult” for her.

She said: “The more we walked and came towards the tower, the more memories there were for me and it was very hard.

“Maybe because it was a silent march, I remembered too vividly and it was too much for me.”

The walk was said to have been organised by Grenfell United, a collective created for those who fled the inferno on June 14.

Ms Badani believes that having the walk, which was attended by up to 50 people, was like a “blanket of security”.

She said: “She said I think it was about getting together and sharing the pain and the experience with people who were there.

“Everyone saw how the community came together straight after it happened and I think this was perhaps because we wanted some of that back.”

She said that now that a month has passed “we wanted to take a step back and pay tribute to our friends and neighbours and make sure they are not forgotten”.

The walk rounds off a fraught few days for the west London neighbourhood, characterised by both a string of emotional vigils and a heated confrontation between residents and police at a meeting.

On Thursday, the human cost of the tragedy continued to stack up, as two more of at least 80 people who are believed to have perished in the June 14 blaze were officially named.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council said that it’s next meeting on July 19 will be open to the media.

It is set to include the election of a new council leader, appointment of a chief executive and a number of petitions and debates, including some on Grenfell Tower.

London Mayor hits out at PM and council over Grenfell fire response

A public meeting in June on the tragedy was scrapped after then-council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown realised journalists were present.

The family of Yahya Hashim, 13, paid tribute to the “kind, polite, loving, generous, thankful and pure-hearted” boy who is believed to have died with his parents Nura Jamal and Hashim Kidir.

Relatives of 82-year-old grandfather Ali Jafari said he “was loved and will be greatly missed by his family and the wider community”.

Meanwhile, the political tremors of the disaster continued to reverberate, as the Government was urged to end its “fatal obsession with deregulation”.

Safety bodies were among more than 1,000 signatories to an open letter calling on Theresa May to rethink the drive to cut so-called red tape under the Conservatives.

A debate in the House of Lords, led by Labour peer Baroness Andrews, culminated in an agreement that safety industry representatives should meet ministers.

She told peers at Westminster: “This fatal obsession with deregulation in all forms across Whitehall has been pursued with no regards for consequences other than the benefits to business.”

Two more NHS trusts in England and two schools were added to a growing list of buildings that have failed cladding fire safety checks as part of a safety operation launched in the aftermath of the deadly fire.

The National Fire Chiefs’ Council said the fire risks posed by buildings with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, which is not of limited combustibility, can be reduced by other actions and further checks.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the Grenfell tragedy was “appalling” and she wished it had never happened.

Speaking on LBC radio, she defended the release of information by the force and the official death toll when questioned by a listener on whether she felt it was acceptable that some families may have to wait a year to find out the fate of their loved ones.

“We are really, really working on this as hard as we possibly can,” she said.

“We are putting out all the information we possibly can, we are working closely with the coroner.

“We can’t possibly put ourselves in the shoes of relatives who believe they have lost somebody – every single one of those has a family liaison officer with them.

“And we are doing our level best to give as much information and to be as clear as we can. But nobody would forgive us for guessing or getting it wrong, or doing a mis-identification.”

Ms Dick said specialists are working through every floor and every flat “on their hands and knees, sifting every single bit of material they can find” to see if they can find any more traces or remains of people.

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