Grenfell: ‘We shall keep up justice fight’

Daughter of campaigner Clarrie Mendy aims ‘to continue her legacy’

Friday, 17th June — By Angela Cobbinah

Nina Mendy

Nina Mendy outside Westminster Abbey

THE daughter of one of Grenfell’s foremost campaigners vowed to keep up the fight for justice on the fifth anniversary of the disaster.

Nina Mendy said her mother Clarrie had told her never to give-up on the 72 victims of the fire shortly before her own death in December 2020.

Nina, who is one of the organisers of the memorial event at Westminster Abbey, told the Extra: “My mother was a real fighter and I have big shoes to fill. But I will do my best to continue her legacy and ensure that the memory of Grenfell is kept alive in everyone’s minds and that justice prevails.”

She added: “In her last days my mother asked me to keep the fight up.”

Clarrie set up the campaign group Humanity for Grenfell after learning that her two cousins, mother and daughter Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye, had both perished in the 2017 blaze in their flat on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower.

Clarrie Mendy

Among her many initiatives was the national memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral, six months after the fire, attended by Prince Charles and then prime minister Theresa May. She continued to campaign despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease and confined to a wheelchair, giving evidence at the Grenfell Inquiry and taking part in a number of events to raise awareness about the lack of progress in the investigation into the fire.

“My mother campaigned to the very end and when she died I took over her phone to continue what she was doing. Today’s event is part of that and we have been working on it since March,” said Nina, who would later be attending a ‘silent walk’ in the streets of North Kensington where the fire took place in another of the day’s commemorations.

Also part of the organising team was her cousin, Damel Carayol, who led the Community Choir in a moving rendition of the Labi Siffre song Something Inside So Strong during the service.

With calls from the pulpit for those responsible for the tower blaze to face criminal prosecution, the names of the deceased were read out one by one followed by the congregation’s refrain “forever in our hearts”.

Afterwards those atten-ding laid a white rose on the Innocent Victims’ Memorial outside, as the abbey bell tolled 72 times.

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