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The Most Powerful Jubilee Street Party Table Has No Food on Its Plates

Justice4Grenfell has laid an empty table of 72 — one for each person killed — in the shadow of Grenfell Tower

An empty street party table with green bunting, laid with plates on which are inscribed the names of the 72 people who died in the Grenfell Tower fire
The empty street party table, with green bunting and plates dedicated to the 72 victims.

There will be many street party tables laid this weekend, groaning with savoury and sweet dishes — perhaps a platinum pudding — dedicated to the Queen’s Jubilee. But the most powerful has no food at all: just green bunting, and plates inscribed with 72 names.

Community group Justice4Grenfell has laid the table in the shadow of the tower in North Kensington, in protest against the absence of justice for the 72 people killed in a fire on 14 June 2017. On its empty plates are the words: “72 DEAD, AND STILL NO ARRESTS? HOW COME?”

The group, founded by Judy Bolton and Yvette Williams, has been campaigning relentlessly for accountability and ultimately prosecutions not just for the fire itself, but for the following situation in which many survivors went either unhoused or shuttled between hotel rooms for years. Williams told the BBC that “there is a heaviness, that so many of our community will not be here for these celebrations.”