Activists bidding to use Grenfell fire to topple Tories

19 Jun

Far-Left activists were accused of plotting to destabilise Britain in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Thousands threatened to ‘bring down the Government’ with plans to descend on Parliament during the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday under the banner of a ‘Day of Rage’.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also upped his rhetoric despite the tense atmosphere since the tragedy, which has left at least 58 dead.

He called on nearby empty homes belonging to the wealthy in Kensington to be ‘occupied’ to house those left homeless by the fire. He also launched a thinly veiled attack on Theresa May yesterday.

Frustrations over the fatal Grenfell Tower fire boiled over on Friday as victims, residents and protesters took to the streets of central London demanding answers over the blaze

Frustrations over the fatal Grenfell Tower fire boiled over on Friday as victims, residents and protesters took to the streets of central London demanding answers over the blaze

Frustrations over the fatal Grenfell Tower fire boiled over on Friday as victims, residents and protesters took to the streets of central London demanding answers over the blaze

The shell of Grenfell Tower looms over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist Church

The shell of Grenfell Tower looms over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist Church

The shell of Grenfell Tower looms over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist Church

Scotland Yard is watching closely for signs of further violence after hundreds of demonstrators forced their way into Kensington Town Hall on Friday before marching through central London.

Activists warn the conditions are similar to those following the police shooting of gangster Mark Duggan, which sparked five days of riots in the capital in 2011.

One protester said he will settle for ‘nothing short of a revolution’, adding: ‘Sometimes all it takes is a spark.’

At the centre of the calls is the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary, which accused the authorities of ‘ethnic cleansing’.

One poster tells supporters to ‘walk out of school, take the day off, strike’ before joining a march from west London to Westminster to coincide with the Queen’s Speech.

Under the heading ‘class war, no justice, bring down the Government’, it accuses MPs of seizing power through ‘racism’ and ‘anti-immigration bigotry’.

These were the scenes at Kensington town hall as frustrations over the fatal Grenfell Tower fire boiled over

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today on Peston on Sunday) has jibed some people care to a ‘deeper extent’ than others in a brutal assaults on Theresa May’s handling of the Grenfell fire disaster

Referring to the General Election result, another online poster said: ‘We’ve felt our power. We’ve tasted victory. Now we must escalate our actions to take down this rotten government.’

Militant union leaders are already plotting a ‘summer of discontent’ and ‘Red October’ to cause chaos and put Mr Corbyn into No 10.

Hardliners linked to Unite, rail guards, teachers and junior doctors told followers last week to prepare for co-ordinated strikes and protests to bring the country to a halt.

Appearing on ITV’s Peston on Sunday yesterday, Mr Corbyn took a swipe at Mrs May’s reaction to Grenfell, saying some people cared to a ‘deeper extent’ than others.

Asked by host Robert Peston if he would seize properties that have been bought by the wealthy and left empty, he said: ‘Occupy, compulsory purchase it, requisition it, there’s a lot of things you can do.

‘In an emergency, you have to bring all assets to the table to deal with that crisis.’ He also compared the plight of Grenfell victims waiting to be rehomed to hundreds of delayed air passengers who are found hotel rooms every day, adding: ‘It seems to have been beyond the wit of the public services to deal with a crisis facing a relatively small number of people.’

Protesters at Oxford Circus held signs saying 'Justice for Grenfell - We demand the truth' 

Protesters at Oxford Circus held signs saying 'Justice for Grenfell - We demand the truth' 

Protesters at Oxford Circus held signs saying ‘Justice for Grenfell – We demand the truth’ 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell backed the calls for requisitioning, telling Sky News he would have done ‘whatever necessary’ to house families.

The rhetoric was in stark contrast to a peaceful outdoor memorial service held in the shadow of the burnt-out tower block yesterday.

Hundreds of mourners linked arms in the street to remember the victims of Wednesday’s tragedy.

On Saturday, Mrs May spent two hours with Grenfell Tower residents at a private meeting in Downing Street. The Rev Mark O’Donoghue, of Christ Church Kensington, said she spoke briefly before listening to their concerns.

He said: ‘The first person spoke about how he’d been rescued from the 19th floor, how he opened his door to a wall of smoke, he could not see his hand. He was led out by an arm he couldn’t see. And I saw the Prime Minister welling up.

One female protester held a sign saying 'Tories have blood on their hands. Justice for Grenfell' at Friday night's march

One female protester held a sign saying 'Tories have blood on their hands. Justice for Grenfell' at Friday night's march

One female protester held a sign saying ‘Tories have blood on their hands. Justice for Grenfell’ at Friday night’s march

‘Somebody began to sob beside her and she just held her hand for the next 20 minutes, which wasn’t quite the caricature that we have of the Prime Minister.’

Tory MPs criticised Mr Corbyn for trying to score ‘political points’ by ‘exploiting’ the disaster.

Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, said: ‘Corbyn has shown he is willing to trample over the bodies of the Grenfell fire victims in a cynical attempt to score a political point and push his far-Left political agenda. He seeks to exploit a tragedy.’

George Freeman, Tory MP for Mid Norfolk, wrote online: ‘We need calm leadership. Not rabble rousing.’

Last night, Mrs May announced every household whose home was destroyed by the fire will receive an immediate £500 cash payment and a further £5,000 bank transfer later this week from an emergency fund. She said: ‘My Government will continue to do absolutely everything possible to help all of those affected through the difficult days, weeks, months and years ahead.’

Lawyer Mohammed Tasmine Akunjee

Lawyer Mohammed Tasmine Akunjee

Lawyer Mohammed Tasmine Akunjee

The left-wing lawyer

A lawyer who once said no Muslim should ever co-operate with British police joined demonstrators outside Kensington Town Hall.

Mohammed Tasnime Akunjee is at the centre of a tight-knit circle of Left-wing community activists, including other lawyers and campaigners.

Writing online beside footage of the burning building, he said: ‘I bet you some Tories look at that video and see a solution to benefits claims… sick people.’

Claiming the tragedy will ultimately reveal ‘criminal profiteering and neglect for life’, Mr Akunjee also called for ‘some Tories’ to be wrapped in the cladding said to be partly responsible for the blaze.

He said: ‘Ask them if they trust in fire safety regs for council housing… people need to go to jail for a long time on this one.’

Mr Akunjee once represented Ibrahim Hassan, a close friend of Lee Rigby’s killers who was arrested after giving a TV interview.

Hassan, also known as Abu Nusaybah, accused MI5 of being complicit in his torture in Kenya and driving him towards extremism.

Mr Akunjee, a graduate of the University of Sussex, has gone on to specialise in representing Muslim families, in particular those accused of terrorist offences.

He said no Muslim should co-operate with the British police because the Government’s Prevent counter-terror policy is ‘straightforward, paid-for spying on the community’.

The lawyer lists controversial campaign group Cage – dubbed ‘apologists for terror’ – among his ‘likes’ on his Facebook page and includes its founder Moazzam Begg as a friend.

He follows its controversial research director Asim Qureshi on Twitter. Mr Qureshi sparked a firestorm of controversy by describing Islamic State butcher Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, as a ‘beautiful young man’.

Antonia Bright, of Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary

Antonia Bright, of Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary

Antonia Bright, of Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary

Student union organiser 

Antonia Bright is responsible for the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary. Within hours of the Grenfell fire’s scale becoming clear, she switched the campaign’s focus from fighting Brexit and immigration policies.

Now, the group – named to echo a Malcom X speech – is calling for thousands to march on London.

‘This government has presided over thousands of deaths from seven years of austerity and anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant racism and bigotry. They need to go. Now,’ a poster urges.

In one online profile, Miss Bright says she is responsible for supporting student reps at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.

Asked about the march, she said: ‘You have to ask what does it take to make this Government stand up and listen?

‘This is about justice for everyone and I would expect people from all strands to be there.’

Miss Bright is close friends with Trotskyist Tony Gard, 76, who has been at the centre of violent protests, including at the State Opening of Parliament in 1995.

Ishmahil Blagrove is a veteran activist and professional controversialist

Ishmahil Blagrove is a veteran activist and professional controversialist

Ishmahil Blagrove is a veteran activist and professional controversialist

Veteran activist 

A video of Ishmahil Blagrove ranting at a reporter in the shadow of the gutted building has gone viral on Facebook. In the clip, he says ‘f*** the media’ and calls for a revolution.

He said ‘sometimes all it takes is a spark’ as he highlighted the 2011 riots that swept Britain.

‘I’m already hearing messages of people mobilising, of police intercepting messages on Facebook,’ he said. ‘We saw what could happen in this country in 2011, over the shooting of Mark Duggan. 

‘There are real issues in the underbelly of society that frustrate people.’

Mr Blagrove, a key figure behind the Notting Hill Carnival, is a veteran activist and professional controversialist.

Once a regular of Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, he describes himself as a ‘bona fide hood rat’ who suffered police brutality as a young man.

Friends joke the popular figure in pro-Corbyn circles could even join Labour’s shadow cabinet.

Mustafa al-Mansur, a tech businessman turned outspoken Corbynista political activist

Mustafa al-Mansur, a tech businessman turned outspoken Corbynista political activist

Mustafa al-Mansur, a tech businessman turned outspoken Corbynista political activist

Protest leader

One of the leading figures behind the Left-wing uprising is a tech businessman turned outspoken Corbynista political activist.

Mustafa al-Mansur, 39, rallied protesters outside Kensington Town Hall after learning a family friend had died in Grenfell Tower. As he appealed for calm, protesters forced their way inside and surrounded staff.

Last night it was revealed he has been spokesman for Finsbury Park Mosque for more than a decade – although after the time of notorious hate preacher Abu Hamza.

Mr al-Mansur was once arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences after his fingerprints were found on a book about improvised explosive devices.

Mr al-Mansur, who lives in Tottenham with his wife, said he faced no further action.

At Friday’s protest in Kensington, he said the Grenfell tragedy highlighted lingering issues of inequality, adding: ‘People are calling it a corporate manslaughter.’

Mr al-Mansur has praised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently, writing: ‘Conservative supporters wish and dream that their leaders had an ounce of [his] impeccable character, dignity and principled politics.’

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