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Occupation for #EducationForAll at Quebec Education Minister's office

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Occupation for #EducationForAll at Quebec Education Minister's office
Occupation for #EducationForAll at Quebec Education Minister's office

Around 20 people are occupying the riding offices of Quebec Education Minister Marie Malavoy in Longueuil.

The action is part of the Education For All campaign to allow access for non-status children to primary and secondary education in Quebec.

Currently, children without status do not have access to a at code, without which they can be charged $6000 per year. Organizers say that the sum in prohibitive for many migrant and non-status families, and that they should have the same access to education as other youth in Quebec.

The campaign has been ongoing for several months, including petitions, visits to school board meetings and protests. In late summer, just as the school year was beginning, the Minister issued new directives that opened the door for access for non-status youth, but they have been described as unclear and imprecise, leading to continued confusion.

In an interview, Education For All spokesperson Amy Darwish said it is within the power of the Minister to immediately issue new, clear directives to school boards that would allow access to education starting with the January 2014 semester.

Other Canadian cities, like Toronto, already have a don't ask don't tell policy around the status of students, and there is no reason it cannot happen here, said Darwish.

Several police cars are present and an eviction notice has been issued inside, but there have been no arrests, and occupiers remain in good spirits, saying they will stay until their demands are met.

UPDATE 3:00PM: The occupation ended with protesters being allowed to exit the office one by one, through the front and back doors. While about 20 riot police had entered the building, they simply looked on as protesters left. No arrests were made. Outside, protesters cheered and declared victory, chanting, "Ce n'est qu'un début, continuons le combat!" (This is just the beginning, keep up the fight!).

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