June 26, 2017 at 4:59 pm 1 comment

Een demonstratie van Grenfell-bewoners aan Kensington Hall (gemeentehuis) liep, zoals dat heet, “uit de hand” (wiens hand dat is, wordt er nooit bij gezegd).

Een Britse vriend zei me dat de brand in Grenfell Tower een diepere indruk heeft gemaakt op de bevolking dan de recente terroristische aanslagen. Hoe meer erover bekend raakt, hoe duidelijker het wordt dat de veiligheid van de bewoners bewust verwaarloosd werd om kosten te sparen of winst te maken, wat op hetzelfde neerkomt. De tegenstelling tussen Londens glanzende luxetorens en de behuizing van haar minder begoeden steekt de ogen uit. De tegenstelling tussen de klassen komt in focus. Nooit hoorde je het woord “arbeidersklasse” zo vaak op tv als in de voorbije vijf dagen, schrijft een Londense blogger.

Een fragment uit zijn of haar artikel:

This has been the longest week ever for many. The agony of the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire continues. So many lives lost and so many people still unaccounted for. We are all still in mourning.

We are still making sense of this crime in the City that we love and that is being destroyed and socially cleansed faster and faster. Every day we come across new injustices, new indignities, new outrages. Many, like this one, have been committed in the name of regeneration, a process steeped in everyday violence against us. Regeneration has long been publicly unmasked as a massive act of social engineering where profit is the central machine that drives us out. Homes become investments. People get ‘decanted‘. People get Compulsorily Purchased. No longer are we welcome in the communities we have all had a hand in growing. Our communities are airbrushed away in architect’s plans. The other side of the story is disinvestment, our estates breaking down from a planned lack of care and funds. We are stigmatised here there and everywhere. We are told we are shit. We often live in shit – mould, damp, overcrowding. We are felt to be surplus to the remaking of the City as one massive cash machine that dispenses profit making unaffordable homes be they luxury towers or shared ownership apartment blocks. And if much needed refurbishment is done, the imperative of covering and making housing pretty for the area around it leads to criminal decisions, such as using cheaper flammable cladding.

It’s tragic that the fire, the terror and the deaths at Grenfell Tower have had to be the final potent symbol of all that has been brought down on our heads in the last 30+ years. It’s like everything has been exposed now – the greed behind gentrification and the greed behind cutting corners when maintaining or refurbishing, on materials and fire safety equipment. It’s as everyone has been saying this week – they don’t care about us! Well, if they don’t care about us then it’s only up to us to come together and overthrow the rotten system at heart.

The Problem is Not Towers, It’s the Greedy Bastards!

The liberal chatterers in the press or TV wants us to be silent and wait for ‘the findings‘. The Tory media counter attacks that our anger is ‘a lynch mob‘ and that we should calm down. They want us to be silent and believe what phoney urban planners (like Create Streets) say so that the blame is shifted onto things and technicalities: obsolete buildings, faulty construction, ‘complex’ outsourcing. ‘The problem is tower blocks’ say many, including Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn: “It may well be the defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s are systematically torn down.”

By the mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s, he doesn’t mean the three 42-stories high residential towers of the Barbican, nor the now luxury refurbished Balfron Tower, but those that are still our council estates. Tower blocks do not seem a problem as long as those living in them are not poor, nor as long as millions of profit can be made on – (often) – public land like at Heygate or Aylesbury Estates.

Since 2007 in London have been built at least 20 luxury flat towers taller than 29 floors, 10 of which have over 35 floors. There are tens and tens of high-rise luxury residential towers under construction across the city, 10 of which will be taller than 50 floors. Not only this, but high rise towers such as the Skyline at Woodberry Down in Hackney (31 floors, 2016) replaced the low and medium rise council housing estate by the same name. So let’s not be fooled: tower blocks are not to be blamed. High-rise living is not to be blamed. The blocking of the two alternative exits of the Grenfell tower is to be blamed, not the height of the building. Bad maintenance and murderous refurbishment are to be blamed, not the 24 floors.

Het volledige artikel vind u HIER.


Entry filed under: Groot Brittannië, Samenleving. Tags: , .


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Frank Roels  |  June 28, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Het drama van de Grenfell appartementen wijst ook op de onbetrouwbaarheid van de winstgevende bedrijven en aannemers die het gebouw bekleedden met brandbaar materiaal. Hun technici weten immers, of zouden moeten weten, welke materialen gepast zijn voor welke toepassing. Ze weten dat beter dan schepenen in de gemeenteraad (die nu van Theresa May de zwarte piet krijgen), of de eigenaars van de huizenblok. Wie durft nu nog zijn leven in handen leggen van de de private winstgevende sector? Ik ben benieuwd of ze zullen vervolgd worden. En welke bedrijven waren het? Nog niets van gehoord. Misschien hebben ze gisteren al hun naam veranderd.


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