Notting Hill Carnival-goers praised for Grenfell disaster response

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Partygoers at Notting Hill Carnival have been praised for their “touching and special” tribute to the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Sound systems were turned off and thousands of revellers fell silent at 3pm yesterday and Sunday to remember the 80 people known to have died.

Many in the crowd had heeded organisers’ plea to “wear green for Grenfell” as they followed the procession in the shadow of the burned-out tower.

Sonny Blacks, who served on the original Carnival committee in 1968, said the “splendour that is Carnival marked a sort of remembrance” for the local community. The former Ladbroke Grove resident said: “It was great to see there was unity over the weekend with people paying respect to those who lost their lives in that horrible tragedy.

Notting Hill Carnival revellers hold minute’s silence for Grenfell Tower victims

“In the face of everything it was great to see that it was all about respect. With Carnival being demonised in the lead- up to the weekend, it was beautiful that the splendour that is Carnival marked a sort of remembrance.”

Kensington Residents Alliance member Samia Badani, who has lived in the area for 17 years and attended Carnival as a representative of bereaved Grenfell survivors, said the tributes were “touching and special”.

The mother-of-two said: “It was good to get together over Carnival and pay tribute. A lot of people have underestimated the extent of the trauma so to have something like Carnival was special. We need to all work together to move forward and this weekend was a great example of that.”

The official opening ceremony of the 51st carnival on Sunday saw doves released into the air as firefighters at nearby North Kensington fire station bowed their heads in remembrance.

Dancing police officer steals show at Notting Hill carnival

Speaking alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad encouraged the “Grenfell generation” to set aside sadness and come together in celebration. 

She said: “We will have the most wonderful, musical, colourful and lovable Carnival ever. Remember you are the Grenfell generation. You are special.”

By 10pm police had made 313 arrests, significantly down on last year’s total.


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