Notting Hill Carnival: Thousands enjoy sound, salsa and sun


Performers line-upImage copyright
PA

Image caption

Dancers from the Paraiso School of Samba observe their own minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

Hundreds of thousands of revellers have descended on Notting Hill for the second day of carnival, which is being held in the shadow of Grenfell Tower.

At least 80 people died during the blaze at the west London block in June.

On Sunday, the carnival’s opening ceremony paid tribute to the victims and the sound systems were turned off for a minute’s silence.

The Met Police said there were 122 arrests on Sunday, a fall of about 20% on last year.

About a million people attended last year’s carnival, making it Europe’s biggest street festival.

Rooted in celebrating Afro-Caribbean culture and community cohesion, the event has taken on extra significance following the Grenfell tragedy.

The colourful floats pass within half a mile of the blackened tower and at that point in the parade revellers are being encouraged to dip their music and walk respectably.

People going to the carnival have also been asked to wear green to remember the victims of the fire.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

There is an increased police presence following the terror attack in Barcelona

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

This year is the 51st Notting Hill Carnival

Image copyright
AFP

The entire procession paused for a second time in two days for a minute’s silence to remember the victims.

Local MP Emma Dent Coad wiped away tears following the silence, which she observed with firefighters outside North Kensington fire station.

“It’s a really, really lovely atmosphere, there’s gorgeous weather, there’s a lot of good feeling out there, a lot of people wearing green, and I think it should continue in that vein.”

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Firefighters observe a minute’s silence

Samia Badani, the chairwoman of Bramley House Residents’ Association, has been guarding the hundreds of handwritten tributes and flowers left near to the tower after the fire.

Of the charred tower, she said: “The sight of it is something very shocking. It’s very imposing.

“When people come here and see it, it just hits them.”

Image copyright
AFP

Of the arrests on Sunday, 54 were for drug offences, 15 for public order offences, eight for possession of a weapon and eight for sexual offences.

The London Ambulance Service said it had treated 344 patients during the first day of carnival – many for alcohol-related injuries.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Sunday that although the 51st carnival took place in a “context of sadness and sorrow”, it was a celebration of London’s diversity.

A heavy police presence will mark the carnival route on Monday, with steel barriers and concrete blocks there to prevent a Barcelona-style terror incident as well as acid attacks.


Image copyright
Reuters

At the scene: BBC reporter Dan Freedman

Day two of the Notting hill Carnival and another million people have hit the streets to enjoy Europe’s largest street festival.

If revellers were concerned about the possible terror threat then they have not shown it.

The challenge for those policing them is how to make carnival safe without compromising its sense of fun and freedom.

Despite the checkpoints on the outskirts, which vet each vehicle that comes into carnival – a so called ring of steel – police have retained their laid back approach where possible.

Some are wearing flowers around their necks, while others have been dancing to the reggae and dub blasting out of sound systems.

After a year of terror and tragedy in London that for many at carnival has struck way too close to home, this community has united and shown the world their sense of joy will endure.

Image copyright
PA


Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The event runs close to the tower

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Organisers have encouraged people to wear green for Grenfell

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Police officers look through binoculars on the rooftop of a building at carnival

Of the terrorism threat, one performer said: “Anything can happen to anyone anywhere and that’s what terrorists want you to do – to be inside and be afraid.

“You can’t do what they want you to do, you have to live your life so no, I’m not worried about it.”

Is the fun being sucked out of Notting Hill Carnival?

Rewind: More than 50 years of fun at Carnival


Are you going to Notting Hill Carnival? We would like to see your photos and hear about your experiences. E-mail us at

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
  • Send pictures/video to
  • Or Upload your pictures/video here
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international)
  • Please read our terms & conditions



Source link

NO COMMENTS