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Post Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:11 pm

Posts: 18850

– opposing sides to meet today By Rehanna RamsayMarket vendors from Parika yesterday engaged in a standoff with armed policemen as they staged yet another protest to condemn the actions of Market officials to have them removed from the roadsides.The escalated confrontation was between the vendors, representatives from people’s parliament, Lincoln Lewis of the General Worker Union, newspaper columnist Freddie Kissoon, Ode Best of the Vendor’s Union, and Market Committee Member Lyndon Fowler, who later called in a team of armed policemen.However the conflict subsided after the two opposing sides decided to meet today at the Regional Democratic Council’s (RDC) office with a hope of having the issue sorted out.“We are hoping to accomplish  a solution that will work for both the vendors and the Council because at the end of the day people have to live and in so doing they must be allowed to ply their trade in a reasonable manner.” Leonard Craig of the People’s Parliament said.Lincoln Lewis noted that while vending on the roadside has become illegal the method used by the administration to notify the people is morally incorrect since this has been the culture as it relates to vending in the local society for decades now. He also pointed out that no requisite ground work has been conducted to find a proper alternative solution to the problem.Vendors in picketing lineMeanwhile, columnist Freddie Kissoon commended the police for their actions during the early morning confrontation.“We like to laud the police for professionalism. When we came, there was a busload of policemen, some who were unarmed. They were taking instructions from Mr. Fowler who is not in position to give such orders.”“We made independent inquires and later found out from Fowler’s superiors that they didn’t want a standoff and are prepared to review the issue but Mr. Fowler in our presence was telling the police to cart off the people’s things and have them arrested. It was after we insisted that Fowler produce some sort of authorization that the police acted in wisdom and agreed, otherwise they would have been arrests and people’s stuff carted off.”In his remarks Ode Best of the Vendors Union said that as a representative of the people it is only fair that governing bodies take into consideration persons who are involved in entrepreneurship at the lowest level.“We refuse to subscribe to a western culture that talks about only big supermarkets that only certain people can own and control.”Approximately 60 vendors on Friday last,Gabriel Jersey, held a protest in the vicinity of Fowler’s residence after he reportedly ordered the demolition of several roadside stalls and the burning of pallets.On that occasion, Fowler allegedly promised the workers that “Sunday will be worse.”  As promised armed police ranks turned up to bring the picketing exercise to a halt.According to the vendors, it is not unusual for Fowler to instruct the police to bully them off the streets.“We ain got no problem moving into the market, but the market it aint got proper toilet facility and it can only hold seventy stalls and is more than three hundred awe does come and sell. The flooding is another thing. Just now when the Christmas rain come nobody nah go want come in the market fu buy cause it a flood.”However, speaking with Kaieteur News, Fowler said that the issues of flooding and sanitation would be addressed when the people comply with the regulation of ceasing to vend on the streets.  Fowler says that plans are being streamlined for the development of the market.“But we want to get people inside so we can know exactly where to start and what we can do.”“They are saying that market is inadequate to them, these issues cannot be solved overnight it will be addressed in time, we will have to hold discussions to decide on the way forward.”

Post Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:03 pm

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