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Vendors ordered from front of market

Vendors ordered from front of market

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A confrontation was avoided last Wednesday, March 18th, outside the Kingstown Central Market.

Vendors plying their trade at the Grenville Street entrance to the market were told to move their wares into a market stall or face forcible removal at the hands of the Police.{{more}}

They reluctantly complied and vehemently voiced their displeasure, saying that market officials were practically taking bread out of their mouth.

An irate Alicia Simmons told SEARCHLIGHT that the vendors in the area have tried their best to accommodate the demands of the officials, including paying daily fees of $5, which almost matched those of persons with stalls inside the market.

DVD vendor Monique Isaacs claims that she was told that she couldn’t sell outside anymore because the government spent several thousands of dollars beautifying the area.

“They told us they spend $40,000 to put up rails and $90,000 to paint the market, and now they don’t want us jam up on the wall,” another vendor, Noel Dennie told SEARCHLIGHT.

Almost in tears at time, Simmons told SEARCHLIGHT that the vendors were discouraged from taking their plight to the media.

“They trying to take our rights away,” she charged.

Meanwhile, manager of the Kingstown Central Market, Johnny Jones said that vendors are not going to be allowed to sell at the front of the market – despite their objections.

He said that they have been receiving a lot of complaints from persons that the entrance to the market is too congested.

According to Jones, complaints have also been made about schoolgirls not being able to pass in peace due to constant harassment by the male vendors.

This has been dismissed as a total untruth by the male vendors SEARCHLIGHT spoke to, who accused Jones of just looking for things to justify the unfair treatment they believe is being meted out to them.

Jones however explained to SEARCHLIGHT that the vendors were told on Friday, March 13th, that they were not to set up their business the following Monday, but they did anyway.

A meeting was held with the vendors on Tuesday during which the order was repeated to them.

Regarding the strong police presence in place when the vendors were confronted last Wednesday, Jones told SEARCHLIGHT that it was a precautionary move.

“Our security officers were told that they (the vendors) were not going to move without a fight, so we had to be prepared,” Jones explained.

The vendors affected trade in DVDs, CDs and leather craft among other things. (KJ/SC)

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