AN impasse between Castries vendors and the City’s administrators has spilled over into protest action and sharp exchanges between the City’s Mayor and the President of the Vendors Association.
A group of irate street vendors staged a protest Tuesday near the office of the Castries Mayor Peterson Francis, some even demanding his removal.
The vendors are upset over the removal of their belongings on Sunday – Mother’s Day — as part of a campaign to clean-up the capital and make the streets safer.
Trays, tables, chairs and other items belonging to the vendors were removed from downtown Castries and transported to the Marchand market and some vendors complained that when they went to look for the items, they could not locate them.
Others complained that they had to incur additional costs to transport the property they returned to parts of the City centre where they operate.
Some also claimed that they had supported the United Workers Party (UWP), during the last election campaign that swept it to power and were now being treated like ‘stray dogs’.
One such individual recalled braving rainfall to vote.
Another asserted that the measures taken against the vendors by the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) represented a ‘nail deeper in (Prime Minister Allen) Chastanet’s coffin.”
The President of the Vendors’ Association, Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac told reporters, however, that the protest had nothing to do with politics.
“We have people from all different political persuasions – a lot of the people here are Labour, there are Flambeaus too; everybody is here,” he said.
Isaac declared that the Mayor had acted without consultation.
“When he talks with us, he does something else,” the Vendors’ Association official explained.
However, the Mayor, who was also present, accused the Vendors’ Association President of being ‘The Great Pretender.’
Francis claimed that Isaac had “agreed” with the CCC “behind closed doors”.
The impasse continues…