Chinatown Street Vendor Crack Down

Looks like the NYPD is up to more of its trademark “community policing” — this time kicking out street vendors in the busy green market on Forsyth Street along the Manhattan Bridge.
image from Bowery Boogie

Some people think the practices of vendors are foul, and that the sweep makes the streets cleaner and more sanitary (some vendors are accused of selling without a license, selling rotten produce, or leaving out trash overnight). Others believe the thousands of people who shop there every day attests to the necessity and quality of food, and that the crack down is egregious and destroying the merchants’ livelihood.

image from Bowery Boogie

I gotta say, while the market’s location right under the bridge lends some appearance of shadiness, I’ve bought fruit here before — and it was perfectly fine. Even if there are a few sketch vendors, they are the ones who should be targeted, as opposed to busting up the market as a whole. Many folks in the community rely on these merchants for produce — not everyone can skip on over to Whole Foods for their dietary needs.

image via Bowery Boogie

Since incidents of harassment of locals has reportedly increased along with the rising gentrification of  the area (like the violent arrest of an elderly musician in Columbus Park in May), one has to wonder if this is just another effort to reinforce the interests of new, wealthier residents to make Chinatown more aesthetically pleasing and a sanitized, trendy clone of the Lower East Side (plus, as The Bowery Boogie points out, the timing of it all is rather shady, with plans underway to construct a new park on the bridge).

Who are the boys in blue really serving and protecting?  They should be making the neighborhood safer to live and work in for vulnerable poor and working class immigrants  — not messing with folks who are contributing to the economy and fabric of the community.  Let’s hope that the vendors get to return eventually. For more info on street vendor issues and advocacy, go to the Street Vendor Project.

via Gothamist

and the Bowery Boogie

Thanks Char!

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4 thoughts on “Chinatown Street Vendor Crack Down

  1. Yeah: The NYPD is the corporate world’s running dog. Harassing hard working self-employed street vendors from Harlem to China Town — in a recession, no doubt. That is, when they are not ‘stopping and frisking’ over half million minorities a year.

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  2. It is SO clear to me that the NYC government is trying to destroy Chinatown. And it pisses me off SO MUCH as I have a lot of history there. My grandparents settled there almost a century ago, and I have family that’s still there. It freaking pisses me off that this cultural hub, this really important, beautiful place is being destroyed.

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  3. Pingback: Friday Fuckery: NYPD Arrest Funeral Goods Store Worker for Selling Paper Gucci « BicoastalBitchin's Weblog

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