May Pen vendors promise to riot - Sellers want restrictions to be lifted for Christmas

December 21, 2016
File The May Pen Market in Clarendon.
FILE No vending will be alllowed in the town of May Pen this Christmas.
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May Pen Mayor Winston Maragh said vending will not be permitted along Main Street in the town capital. Instead, he said vendors should use the 'Grand Market Village' along Sevens Road and Council Street, which is a designated area assigned for them to use.

Maragh said there are concerns for persons conducting business along Main Street, who may be easy targets for robbers.

However, this stance was met with strong opposition from vendors, who ply their wares in the bustling town.

Several vendors gathered outside the Clarendon Municipal Corporation office on Monday, demanding a meeting with their newly elected representative to voice their concerns.

They stepped up their efforts yesterday with a demonstration, issuing an ultimatum to the police. They insist that vending should be allowed on Main Street during the current Yuletide season or else there would be a major riot from vendors.

The vendors explained to THE STAR that it is customary for vendors to ply their wares along the town's major thoroughfares during Christmas.

IN THE KILLERS MOUTH

"Them say (police) we fi go sell round a Windsor Avenue and up a Farm (Sevens Road). That a right inna the killers and thieves mouth them a send we," one placard-bearing vendor, who identified himself as Micky, declared.

He further added, "Them must take vendors fi fool. How we must go round a Windsor Avenue or Sevens Road go let them thief, rob, and kill we."

A female counterpart complained that the police's action is simply to help the Chinese and other large merchants to make all the sales.

"A get them want get rid of we. But if vendors can't sell out ya so, nobody can't sell out here either. A riot inna this," the irate vendor warned.

The demonstrators also claimed that the designated vending areas lack proper security and adequate lighting, and will be a turn off for shoppers, especially at nights.

Registration for the market village closed at 4 p.m. on Monday because the spaces were limited. There are 276 spaces designated for the Grand Market Village, all of which have been fully booked.

However, persons are being advised to use the other towns such as Lionel Town, Kellits, and Chapelton to do their grand market hustling.

Senior Superintendent of Police David White said vendors resisting change will be prosecuted.

"Change is not being thrusted upon them suddenly, but I want to remind them that all this was communicated with these

vendors since last week. So, we are appealing for good sense to prevail," he said.

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