How do those affected by a disaster organize to meet their needs for justice? Campaign strategies and partial victories following the Grenfell Tower fire
Previous research has shown that disasters often involve a sense of injustice among affected communities. But the process through which 'disaster communities' organise to confront such injustices have not been investigated by social psychology. This study addresses this gap by examining how community members impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire self-organized to demand justice in response to government neglect. Thematic analysis of interviews with fifteen campaigners helped us to understand the
... hared responses of those involved in support campaigns following the fire. Campaigners aimed to: overcome injustice against the government inactions in the aftermath of the fire; empower their community against government neglect; create a sense of community for people who experienced injustice. Community members created a petition calling on the government to build trust in the public inquiry; they achieved their goals with the participation of people from wider communities. We found that reaching out to allies and building shared social identity among supporters were two main ways to achieve campaign goals. The study suggests ways that 'disaster communities' can be sustained after the disaster to form the basis of effective collective action. Specifically, shared social identity is a key mechanism for communities who are affected by a disaster, enabling them to act as one when they seek justice as well as overcome the effects of disaster.