After the Grenfell Tower atrocity, in which hundreds lost their lives, squatters held a benefit party to help those affected. The atrocity occurred after cost-cutting Kensington and Chelsea council clad the building in a cheap, flammable material in an effort to make the block look more appealing to its rich and super-rich neighbours.
Held near London Bridge in an old student hospital, two rooms out of the hundreds laying empty were packed with people enjoying the music and sounds – from ska, punk and techno to spoken word, rap and grime. The live performances were equally diverse: FRANK, The Harriman Twins, Marlaboo and The Lodgers joined artists from the Grenfell area, including Crazy Haze, Apex Zero and Le Hornet.
The night was a great success with over £560 being made. It shows that squatters can get organised quickly, take an empty building and organize events and benefits they know are important. Moreover, it shows that working-class solidarity between squatters and tenants is not only alive and kicking, but kicking middle-class charity where it hurts.
All the money will be taken to Grenfell and given directly to the local community centre and migrant centre, which has just opened up for people living around the Tower who can’t go to hospital, police or local charities for fear that they will arrest and/or deport them.
With more events in this space being organised, we will be sure to let you know when it is happening via our Twitter.