Time to wake up: ‘red tape’ saves lives | Chi Onwurah


Activism following events such as the Grenfell fire is not deplorable, as the Telegraph suggests, but essential. Historically, political response to needless death has advanced society

Since the Grenfell Tower fire, I have gone to bed and woken up thinking about the building, the people who lived in it, why and how so many died. On Saturday morning, I woke up to a headline in the Telegraph, claiming that the inferno was being “hijacked” by political activists. And it made me stop thinking only of Grenfell.

I started to think about New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 when 146 garment workers died from fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were young Jewish and Italian immigrant women, recently arrived.

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