The following blog is written by Let Us Learn campaigner, Emmanuel Opoku. Emmanuel has been involved with the campaign since November 2014 and since that time has contributed by sharing his learning and experiences with other young people at campaign meetings; speaking at public events and even on BBC London News and by being an advocate for young people impacted by this issue. Here he describes the events of Wednesday 29th July, Supreme Court judgment day 🙂
I woke up this morning feeling quite apprehensive. The thought that the future of hundreds of talented, ambitious and gifted young people’s future would be greatly affected by the decision on the Tigere case.
Whisking through the streets of London on my bike with 50 Cent pumping through my earphones was probably a bad idea! Not only is it dangerous to cycle with music on (don’t do it!), but it also meant that I arrived at the Supreme Court all flustered and with a lot of nervous energy. However did I make it on time!
I put on my Let Us Learn t-shirt with pride and it was lovely to see so many of us assembled in one place, with a common purpose. We were greeted with warm speeches from Chrisann and Dami. I said a few brief words. And then… it was time.
The airport style security checks did nothing to settle the nerves that slowly crept over me as I made my way into the courtroom. Complete silence. We sat there waiting for the judges to arrive for what seemed like an eternity.
As tradition dictates, we all stood up as the judges finally burst through the court doors and it was all underway. We were informed that there were five cases for which a decision was being made; Tigere’s would be the last. Decision after decision went by before we could hear the all-important news we waited so patiently for.
As soon as Lady Hale mentioned Tigere’s name, my ears perked up and my gum was victim to frantic chewing. It was all a blur. Before I knew it, it was all over. I was met with faces painted with colours of happiness and confusion. All we knew was that the ruling was in our favour. The decision meant so much to us all. Seeing Dami cry tears of joy just exemplified this for me.
After further explaining from Just for Kids Law’s Fiona, all was clear. The phone calls were in order. My mum, friends and solicitor were all informed of the decision. It was so reassuring to see David Lammy MP in attendance to give a few word of encouragement.
The best thing about today was seeing that we actually have a voice and it has been heard! An important message resonating within the Let Us Learn camp is where to go next? The battle is won but the war is far from over.
For me, I think this victory is a testament to all our hard work over the last few months to raise awareness of the unjust situation in which we find ourselves. I think it’s important to use this as a slingshot to propel us further towards our goals.
So.. what next? I think the future of the campaign lies in informing those who are unaware that they might be affected in the same way before it’s too late. To enable young people to understand their status and how it could affect their lives. We have the power to cause change so let’s use it!
Let Us Learn!
Written by Emmanuel Opoku, aged 20.