* SEE BELOW FOR PICTURES AND REPORT FROM OCCUPATION ON MONDAY APRIL 23 *
On Wednesday April 25th, members and allies of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver returned to CIC offices, and despite being guaranteed a meeting by the offices on Monday, this meeting did not happen. The group then proceeded to shut down the front doors of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, disrupting the business of deportation-as-usual. A heavy contingent of police officers were called in and attempted to remove the group from the doors; but upon being asked questions about their grounds to do so, had to back off until they were able to come back with the answer of 'mischief'. Meanwhile, the front doors were locked down with a U-lock and remained locked as the group left. It appears to have taken several hours for the lock to be removed.
According to Sam Stacey "As immigrants and immigrant rights activists we took this step because for several years we have attempted so many other avenues- we have written letters, signed petitions, and supported numerous individuals and families through this unjust system, including filing numerous legal applications; yet we have not been heard nor have theinhumane detentions and deportation stopped." The doors were also shut down to symbolize the shutting of the Canadian Border and increasing restrictive border policies that have been passed-forcing up to 500,000 individuals to live without status across the country, about 13,000 people to be deported annually; thousands to be detained; thousands to never make it across the border due to agreements signed by the US and Canada including the Safe Third Country Agreement and the highly secretive Security Prosperity Partnership Agreement; and tens of thousands of others to be forced into choosing exploitative guestworker and temporary foreign worker programs. We urge you to join us in the street on May 1 to demand an end to detentions and deportations and justice for all.