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Protesters clash over Grenfell Tower fire



Demonstrators are confronted by security personnel as they attempt to enter (Photo: REUTERS)
Demonstrators are confronted by security personnel as they attempt to enter (Photo: REUTERS)

A mass brawl has erupted outside Kensington and Chelsea Town hall as a Grenfell Tower fire protest turns ugly.

Scores of people gathered in an area between vehicles outside the building, with many throwing punches at each other in violent scenes.

Furious protesters earlier chanted “murderers” outside the offices as a large group stormed the building in angry scenes over the tragedy.

Hundreds of tower residents, family members and friends of those who died and remain missing swarmed the offices demanding to be spoken to by the council.

Crowds earlier swelled to about 400 people outside the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall but a large group also managed to storm the building and make it inside to the reception area.

They screamed for council leaders to come out and are pleading with them to put a figure on the number who perished in the inferno and ensure people a rehoused locally.

“It was murder – someone must pay” one yelled.

One protester yelled: “We are waiting for answers for the babies who were thrown from the building.

“We will not leave till someone comes out.”

One person with megaphone said: “This is corporate genocide.”

The crowds split into two – one group is trying to get inside, one remained at the bottom of steps at the building.

There were calls for calm outside.

One speaker said: “The world is watching. We are not animals. I am a man.”

Others yelled “shame on you” and “we want answers” at the council amid high tensions.

Grenfell Tower
The blazing Grenfell Tower in London Kensington

There are claims council have said they are not sending anyone out to speak.

No one from the council or authority have appeared to speak to the people.

There are calls of “no violence” as police clash with crowd members as they want to regain control at the entrance.

An extra 20 police officers are said to have arrived to restore order.

Scenes had calmed by about 6pm.

In a series of demands, organiser Mustafa Almanser, whose friend from the 23 floor is missing feared dead said they wanted a commitment the homeless survivors would be re-housed in the borough and funds be immediately released to cover welfare costs.

He called on a criminal investigation to be launched into the £10million refurbishment of the tower, and a probe into the safety of all similar towers in the borough.

Cheering the demands and chanting “justice for the residents”, the group has vowed to remain outside the offices until a council boss responds to their demands.

Singer Lily Allen joined the residents and said she wanted to see support offered for traumatised children who watched their friends “burn alive” in the fire.

She also said it was an “insult” PM Theresa May had failed to show her face to residents and said the least the shameless Tory leader could have done was to “call her friends” at the council and order them to offer a hand.

She said survivors and family members of the missing are “like zombies” as they linger around the crumbling tower, adding there are still people “clinging to hope” thinking they may be reunited with their loves ones when it is “not going to happen”.

“The council needs to start helping and until they say to people to stop pitting things in boxes and go home, we will continue to help.

“There have been other events where resources are available, if this was a terrorist attack more would have been done to help.

“Theresa May should have gone into the community, met the people so tragically effected by this, not just met a few fireman.

“This is about corruption and corruption of governments.”

Source: Mirror

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