Burning effigy of Grenfell Tower draws condemnation | News | DW


A video of a burning cardboard model of Grenfell Tower, the London apartment bloc that went up in flames last year killing 71 people, has caused an uproar and led to arrests.

The video, which went viral online, shows a group of people mocking the Grenfell Tower victims as an effigy of the low-income housing bloc, where many migrants lived, goes up in flames in a bonfire.

Metropolitan Police said five men turned themselves in late on Monday after authorities launched an investigation into the video.  The men, aged between 19 and 55, were arrested for a public order offense.

Prime Minister Theresa May had called the video “utterly unacceptable.” Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said it was “utterly disgusting and those responsible should be ashamed of their actions, which are beneath contempt.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the video “sickening” and urged social media companies to remove the content.

Grenfell United, an organization fighting for justice for the fire victims and families, called the video “disgusting.”

“Not only is it extremely upsetting to survivors & people who lost family, it’s hateful & offensive to everyone that has been affected by the tragic events of that night,” the group said.

The video also drew allegations that it was racist because many of the Grenfell Tower victims were people of immigrant backgrounds and Muslim. Among the representations on the cardboard tower were women in burqas.

MEND, an anti-Islamophobia organization, said the “sickening Islamophobic” video amounted to a hate crime.

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