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Grenfell Tower fire: the protests begin

IT BEGINS: Protesters storm Kensington town hall

OVER AT at Kensington town hall, protesters have stormed the building and are in the lobby chanting: “We want justice.”

Crowds are continuing to gather and a speaker called on demonstrators to remain in place until the council leaders make a statement pledging an independent investigation and rehousing for all those affected.

Protesters have given the council a list of demands.

They are:

- Written commitment from the council on immediate rehousing of all the victims of Grenfell Tower fire within the borough
- Immediate release of funds to cover costs of welfare and all losses suffered by the victims
- Commission an investigation into the recent £10m refurbishment project of the same tower
- Release full list of victims of the tragedy
- Commission investigation into all other similar buildings in the borough to identify fire, health and safety risks and put in place immediate control measures.

Regarding funds being released to help those affected in the short and long-term, the council statement said:

We are already releasing funds to look after the immediate effects of all those affected.

The protesters also requested a list of the number of protesters in Grenfell Tower.

The response was:

This is not a matter for the council but for the coroner, police and other emergency services.

Emotions continue to run high at the protest at Kensington and Chelsea town hall, as crowd chants 'inside, inside' and storms Town Hall again – this time banging on the glass. Protesters were demanding that the chief executive or council leader come out to address them but instead were given a written response by the council’s head of communications.

There were many chants of “Not 17" – a reference to the fact that they believe many more than 17 have died in the fire.

Mounted police and other officers are at the scene of the protests, with some entering the town hall. Others have just been monitoring the crowd and have been greeted by some boos.

UPDATE: Sky News are reporting that there has been an arrest at the protest.

See images from the protest below:

UPDATE:: Hundreds are still gathered in the street outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall, after police managed to regain control of the lobby which had been filled with furious demonstrators earlier.

Whilst outside, protestors continue to chant “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” Speeches are also taking place in the square outside the building’s main entrance, as a police helicopter buzzes overhead.

This story is developing...

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