We had an amazing day today supporting Aderonke Apata as she had her crucial judicial review hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. We arrived early (8am) so that we didn’t miss Aderonke entering the court (which actually happened about two hours later) and to welcome supporters as they arrived. Standing in the freezing wind, we were warmed and heartened by the prompt arrival of the wonderful Manchester Migrant Solidarity contingent – who had survived a night bus with no heating – and the fabulous Unity LGBT group who had crowdfunded to pay for their journey to London.
They were joined by old friends of Aderonke, asylum and LGBT rights groups, anti-racist groups and more. We caught the early morning rush-hour and leafleted passersby to spread the word about the injustice Aderonke is fighting. School and college groups arrived throughout the morning to tour the Royal Courts of Justice, and were enthusiastic to read more about Aderonke’s story and shocked at the treatment she has faced.
Groups and individual supporters continued to arrive throughout the day to join the colourful and lively vigil outside. Inside, meanwhile, Aderonke’s closest supporters packed out the court-room and the judge kindly allowed extra people in, using all the space available. Aderonke even got a mention at the launch event of the detention inquiry report at parliament, thanks to Paul Dillane of UKLGIG, who conveyed Aderonke’s thanks to the inquiry panel to treating her with more dignity than the Home Office ever had. Aderonke was also represented through the wearing of one of the brilliant #Asylum for Aderonke badges, which had been given funny looks by the parliament security.