London activists are borrowing from an Oscar-nominated movie to encourage authorities to take action in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 71 people last June and left hundreds of residents homeless.
The blaze engulfed a residential tower block in North Kensington, west London. Police opened a criminal investigation amid concerns that flammable cladding used in a refurbishment of the tower may have contributed to the fire. But no arrests have been made.
On Thursday, three massive posters emblazoned with the words “71 DEAD,” “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?” and “HOW COME?” were mounted on vans and driven around the streets of the British capital.
The striking protest echoes a scene from the recent film, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” in which a grieving mother portrayed by Frances McDormand puts similar messages on three billboards to shame local authorities for their inaction following the rape and murder of her daughter. The film is up for seven Oscars at the Academy Awards next month.
The posters in London used similar language and the same color as the billboards in the movie. The vans traveled through the city before parking at the scene of the disaster in west London, where members of the community and survivors gathered.
The community group that organized the protest, Justice4Grenfell, also posted a statement on their website calling out officials for not doing more since the fire.
“8 months on from the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower, the issue is being ignored. 71 people died in the Grenfell Tower. And still no arrests. And still 297 flammable towers. And still hundreds of survivors are homeless. And still they are not represented on the inquiry. And still there is not justice,” the statement read.
“These 3 billboards are here to keep this tragedy in the national conscience, to make our voices heard. And our voices call for change to a system that kills. And our voices demand justice for Grenfell,” it continued.
A government-ordered inquiry into the fire is ongoing and many of those who lost their homes remain in temporary accommodation.
London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, has said the criminal investigation into the fire won’t likely be concluded until 2019.
According to a UK government report, of the 395 households affected by the fire, 300 were living in hotels, 75 were in apartments, nine were living with friends and family on a temporary basis, and 11 had found new permanent accommodations by the end of September.
CNN’s James Masters contributed to this report.