Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) join the Grenfell silent walk on the 14th of every month to pay their respects to the 72 lives lost on 14 June 2017. Dorset and Wiltshire brigade organiser Andy Thompson writes about the importance of the event and why FBU members continue to attend every month.
The first time I attended the Grenfell silent walk was the one year anniversary on 14 June 2018. Thousands of members of the public turned out in droves to show their support for the Grenfell community, and I was overwhelmed by the number of people who were there. I wondered how the organisers would get all of these people to fall silent, but the second we started moving, the noise melted away.
The silence is powerful and helps you to focus on that night, the lives that were lost and the effect this tragedy has had on the local community. They have lost their loved ones, their homes and their lives have been irrevocably changed.
It is impossible not to feel humbled by the spirit and strength of this community as you walk through the streets. Despite the silence, a message is sent loud and clear – this community are united in their campaign for change.
The second time I attended was in January this year. Despite the smaller numbers, the same demand is there. They are still waiting for answers on what happened that fateful night and there is no sign of justice anytime soon.
FBU members have attended the walk since the beginning to show our support for the Grenfell community. We want answers for why this event happened and changes implemented so that there will never be a tragedy like Grenfell again.
With the second phase of the inquiry now officially not open until January 2020, it is important that FBU members continue to attend the silent walk. Grenfell and those who lost their lives must be kept alive in the public’s memory. Those who are responsible for the failures at Grenfell must be held accountable and change must happen.
The FBU organises attendance at the march each month, to find out when your region is attending please get in touch with your local officials.