The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 25      July 10, 2017

(lead article, Communist League statement)

UK: Grenfell fire deaths product of capitalist rule

Fight for safety on road to workers power

Ricardo Silvestre
Grenfell Tower, just two miles from London’s Kensington Palace, burns June 14. Deadly fire and social catastrophe it spawned are no accident, but direct product of how capitalism works.
The following statement issued June 22 by the Communist League in the United Kingdom is being widely distributed.

Grenfell Tower has shone a spotlight on the rulers’ utter contempt for the lives of working people — from the refusal to act upon multiple warnings about proven flammable cladding, inadequate exit routes, no sprinklers, faulty alarm systems — the list goes on as the truth comes out.

This was not an “accident.” It was the direct product of how capitalism works. It is totally bound up with the broader carnage that working people face — from declining real wages to job insecurity, mounting social crisis and ongoing wars. The capitalist rulers’ only answer to their crisis is to make working people pay, including with their lives.

This is generating anger among millions of working people. The government, the Labour Party leadership and the propertied rulers fear this anger. It’s the source of their political crisis today.

Seeking to deflect it, they stand together beating the drum of “British values” — the lie that workers and bosses have the same interests — ramped up after the terror attacks in Manchester and London. Their goal is to convince working people to look to their government, their cops and courts as our protectors; and to win acceptance for the erosion of political rights. Grenfell Tower shows we have no common values, interests or way of life with the capitalist rulers. We can only rely on independent working-class political action.

We should join with the survivors of Grenfell Tower in their fight for immediate quality rehousing in the local area and serious compensation. The trade unions should engage in a mass campaign — working together with tenants around the country — demanding immediate dismantling of cladding, installation of sprinklers and other protective measures nationwide. Workers don’t need the fraud of long inquiries and “better” regulations or “feel your pain” visits by party leaders and the Royals. The outpouring of solidarity with Grenfell residents points to what we could achieve through the mobilization of working-class unity and power.

Such a course paves the way for building a revolutionary working-class party to overturn the dictatorship of capital and establish a government that acts in our class interests. It paves the way for working people transforming ourselves, throwing off the degrading image that the rulers strive to inculcate in us, recognizing that we are capable of taking power and organizing society.

Join with the Communist League and Young Socialists on the national demonstration July 1 in London to demand action and to pose the need for a revolutionary working-class alternative to capitalist rule.
Related articles:
Workers demand action on deaths, social catastrophe
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home