Friday, June 30, 2017

{UAH} Grenfell residents' groups compile lists of victims and survivors

Afuwa Kasule @ Ocaya s/o Ocure: 

More on the Grenfell Tragedy and the determination of the residents and other interest groups to find out the truth. Unlike you, the residents do not believe the tragedy is merely a question of adding up the maths. They want the truth and not bogus conspiracy theories like those you peddle that the tragedy was a crime perpetrated against muslims by known known, known unknown or unknown unknown forces.

Thank You

Bobby

Grenfell residents' groups compile lists of victims and survivors

Scepticism exists about official death toll amid ongoing concern police and council have been slow to release information

Posters showing images of missing people after the Grenfell Tower fire
 Posters show images of people missing after the Grenfell Tower fire. There is frustration that there is no official database of survivors. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Newly formed Grenfell Tower residents' groups have begun several parallel investigative attempts to compile lists of the victims and survivors of the Londonfire disaster, amid ongoing concern that the police and council have been slow to release information about the death toll.

Sajad Jamalvatan, a biomedical engineering student who lived on the third floor of the block, has established a Whatsapp community of 86 families who escaped from the block, calling the group Grenfell United. From conversations with these residents over the past fortnight he is sceptical about the police death toll of 79and believes that the actual number is likely to be above 120.

While there is widespread acceptance that police and coroners are working in uniquely challenging conditions, unable to access parts of the building that are too dangerous to enter, there is frustration among residents that officials have not released a number of those people who survived, or an estimate of the numbers of people ordinarily resident in the block. Jamalvatan said he was trying to compile a database of survivors on behalf of his neighbours.

"We were expecting the TMO [tenant management organisation] to do this list for us, but we don't think they are willing to help us," he said, referring to Kensington & Chelsea TMO, the body that looked after the block for the local authority.

Jamalvatan said he was trying to organise a meeting between the council and all of the survivors, in one place, but that it was proving difficult to arrange. "They don't want to face 400 people in a room. They prefer to deal with us individually."

The tower's electoral register shows about 200 people registered to vote, according to a local councillor. The Grenfell Tower Response Unit, the official body coordinating London-wide efforts to support those affected, said they have given 99 households £5,000 in emergency payments, which gives some insight into how many of the 129 households in the block have survivors, although police have said some families are still waiting for payments.

They said 145 hotel rooms have been provided to former residents, but they were unable to release a number of survivors.

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 David Lammy: 'If burning in your home is not political, I don't know what is'

Tottenham MP David Lammy, whose friend, the artist Khadija Saye, died in the fire, has repeatedly questioned the number of dead, describing the figure of 79 as "far, far too low" and said that "failure to provide updates of the true number that died is feeding suspicion of a cover-up".

In a series of tweets on Monday he said that the authorities needed to do more to work out who was in the tower, using information from mobile phone companies, local schools and GP surgeries.

"There has been no update on a) the death toll, b) the number of survivors or c) the number of people in Grenfell Tower for over a week," he wrote. "What are the authorities doing to come up with an estimation of how many people were in Grenfell? Not good enough."

With residents spread out across London in different hotels, survivors are trying to maintain communication with other residents via closed, private social media networks, as they attempt to establish what happened and what support families need.

Campaign group Justice 4 Grenfell is another new grassroots survivors' group that is attempting to establish an accurate list of those who died. Ishmahil Blagrove, a coordinator for Justice 4 Grenfell, said he believed that during Ramadan there were many people visiting the tower, and staying with friends.

"There are people who are still missing, people who are undocumented, we are unhappy with the 79 victims who have been recorded by the media and the police," he told the Press Association. "We want to do some probing to find out how accurate that figure is and give them something that reflects a fuller picture."

Police have named eight victims so far: Mohammad Alhajali, 23; Khadija Saye, 24; Anthony Disson, 65; Abufars Ibrahim, 39; Khadija Khalloufi, 52; Mary Mendy, 52, Abdeslam Sebbar, 77; and five-year-old Isaac Paulos. Another 10 people, including four women, four men, one boy and one girl, have been identified, but not publicly named, at the request of the families.

Survivors visiting the Rugby Portobello Trust, where there is a community centre for victims, have also been helping to compile an informal list of victims and survivors.

"We've had to do it ourselves. No one has told us anything about who survived. It seems very strange," said a resident who escaped from the fire, asking for his name not to be printed.

"I know exactly how many people there were on my landing. We were a stable, well-formed cohesive community. That's what makes it so strange that they haven't done a list of residents."

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