If you don’t know already, Shrouk is one of Cardiff most famous and most loved citizens and she has been waiting for a decision on her asylum application for… well, I don’t know… years… literally. And so it is with everybody’s great pleasure that we tell you this good news today.
I won’t dwell too much on the past because, to be honest, I wouldn’t know where to start. I also wouldn’t know where to end, which tells me that there would be a lot in the middle and, really, it’s too close to my bedtime for an in depth analysis about all that’s happened.
But I will tell you what happened today.
About thirty sooted and booted anarchists, queers, hippies and lovers all came along to Columbus House courts in Newport to support Shrouk. It doesn’t sound like many until one tries to cram them all into a room with a seated capacity of about ten (including the five seats reserved for Shrouk, her two representatives, the presenter for the Home Office, and another man whose role I am unsure of).
So we’re off to a fantastic start already. The Home Office representative asked the judge that the Home Office be allowed to stall the hearing until a later date and then it was two full hours of arguing whether or not the judge was within his power to actually give the Home Office permission to this. My personal understanding – or, interpretation – of the Home Office’s request is that it didn’t have a strong enough case to argue that Shrouk should be deported. The court was adjourned (is that the right word?) for fifteen minutes. Some of us smoked, others prayed and chanted while the rest RANSACKED the vending machines (who knew that listening could be so tiring!?). When we were called in, we were told that the judge did in fact have the power to decide whether or not to grant the Home Office permission to stall the case. He did not grant that permission. Then, in a most unceremonial way, he said that Shrouk was to be granted indefinite leave. We weren’t sure what had happened, especially because the court had been arguing over a technical matter for two hours… we’d dug our heels in for a full day of back-and-forth arguing, but no… that was it. It was decided it. The judge clarified the point for us. Yes, we heard it right, Shrouk has been granted indefinite leave!!
The court erupted in applause and, as Jake put it so eloquently: queers in tears.
This has been a fine day for justice indeed.