South Norwood residents stand defiant with silent march in response to Grenfell effigy video

A silent march by 350 South Norwood residents in protest against the Grenfell effigy video took place on Wednesday.

The idea for a march was inspired to coincide with the monthly silent walks organised by Grenfell activists which take place on the 14 of every month.

Jane Nicholl, 67, a retired South Norwood resident who volunteers with the South Norwood Tourist Board helped organise the protest.

Ms Nicholl said: “I felt sick when I watched the video. How could people be that calculatingly vile? It was a nasty, horrible thing to do.

“It wasn’t spontaneous. It was planned, especially with the way they had painted the figures and put a veil on the woman.

“There was such an outcry by the residents. We were so horrified by it and felt so sorry about how Grenfell would feel about it.

“A lot of people in the community felt quite upset and shocked, and this silent march was about being dignified.”

The 350 residents who attended the march assembled at 6pm on Wednesday on Station Road in South Norwood and the silent protesters followed a route from Norwood Junction station to South Norwood Leisure Centre on Portland Road.

Ms Nicholl’s partner used to live in Grenfell in the 1980s and also knew someone who died in the blaze and as a result the couple had been involved in activism since the devastating fire which left 72 dead last June.

She added: “We have had a huge amount of support online and bar a few racists everyone has been 100% behind us.

“We will not tolerate racism in South Norwood.

“I would like every racist to be sent off to an island where they can bully each other.”

Ms Nicholls added that the community had pulled together in the wake of the scandal and free soup was even provided for the people who took part in the march by staff at The Portland Arms pub, around the corner from the station.

Speaking on the community, Ms Nicholls said there are racist people living in her area but given it has a very mixed population they are usually quieter than they might be in a whiter community.

Related Articles