Sunday, February 25, 2018

Vendors: Pleas falling on deaf ears

They want space from Christmas into Carnival...


WE NEED A VENUE: Independence Square vendors protest outside Kent House in Maraval yesterday as they appealed to Local Government Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan for help in getting a venue for them to ply their trade this Christmas season. —Photo: AYANNA KINSALE

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SEVERAL downtown Port of Spain vendors protested outside the Ministry of Local Government at Kent House yesterday, claiming their plea for vending space from Christmas into Carnival had fallen on deaf ears.

Calling themselves the Independence Square vendors, they gathered outside Kent House located near Rookery Nook in Maraval, displayed placards and shouted for a meeting with Local Government Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan whom they said would be one of the few people who can help them.

Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing said yesterday he had personally contacted Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal with a view to having the vendors accommodated at the site of the now demolished Salvatori building.

The mayor mused however that Dr Moonilal had not yet given him an answer because he was probably too busy bashing hunger striker Dr Wayne Kublalsingh.

The vendors said no one was helping them and it had become overbearing. "I mean, we are not asking for any handouts but a way to provide for ourselves," one vendor said.

Another vendor said, "San Fernando and Chaguanas people could vend so who is we."

Yet another vendor explained that even if they began selling later at nights to avoid "harassment," from the police, "those officers and them still trying to tell us to move all nine o clock in the night. So when will we be allowed the opportunity to sell because we cannot go too late as from 12 in the night is only bandit walking through town."