Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, August 29, 2014
Vendors at the Salvatori Build-
ing site, Port-of-Spain, yesterday
lit candles and held placards in
protest of being evicted from the
site after Independence Day.
Ermin Joseph, a small business
vendor who sells clothing and soft
drinks at the site, said it was unfair
the vendors were being "run out
of town" with no alternatives. They
will not be allowed to vend after
"They tell us that is our last day
to leave here. On Independence
Day, independence should be for
all but they are making us leave
here," he said.
Joseph said vendors were asking
to stay until, at least, after Christ-
One vendor, who gave her name
as Neisha, said they had no prob-
lem with leaving but wanted to be
assured of a space where they
could continue their trade.
"Get somewhere to put us. We
don t mind. We are going but get
somewhere to put us," she added.
The vendors had been operating
at the site on a month-to-month
contract since December 2012 but
were notified by the city corpo-
ration last week that they would
have to move.
They said they were not given
Protest at the site has been a
regular occurrence over the past
few years with the city corporation
allowing vendors a temporary loca-
tion at the site and then evicting
them at the end of the term with
nowhere for them to go.
Yesterday, vendors wrote Tim
Kee s name in chalk above the
name of Port-of-Spain business-
man Jimmy Aboud and held plac-
ards calling on a space to sell their
They said an agreement with
former mayor Louis Lee Sing and
Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal
allowed them to stay on the site
with the agreement that the city
would find an alternative location
for the vending to take place.
"We have nowhere to go.
Nowhere at all to go. Yesterday we
spoke to the mayor and he said he
has nowhere to put us.
"Are we pigs? Are we hogs? We
have a problem with the mayor
offering no alternative," a vendor
The site has become a popular
spot for people to buy fruits. It
houses booths that sell clothing,
DVDs, handicraft and food items.
In a telephone interview yes-
terday Tim Kee said it was a fact
that the city had limited space.
He said since entering into an
agreement with the Urban Devel-
opment Corporation of T&T (Ude-
cott) last Christmas, the vendors
had been allowed to use the space
on a month-to-month basis.
He said since the beginning of
2014, Udecott had sent three
notices for the site to be vacated.
The company wrote it was about
to mobilise its engineers to start
working on the site. Since 2006,
Udecott announced plans to con-
struct a multi-storey carpark and
business centre at the site.
He said the corporation had
pleaded several times on behalf of
vendors and had gotten extensions
from Udecott s chairman Jearlean
John twice but the company had
expressed its need for the site in
the first week in September.
Tim Kee said he had spoken to
vendors yesterday and seen the
candles lit above his name.
"I saw all the candles. I saw the
red candle, green candle and I am
not concerned in the least. I am
a firm believer of God. They can t
intimidate me," he added.
Udecott Communications officer
Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms in an
e-mailed response to several ques-
tions confirmed Udecott was about
to begin work at the site.
A blown-out tyre is said to be
the cause of the accident which
claimed the life of Arthur Russell
Rooks, the son-in-law of Tourism
Minister Gerald Hadeed.
Police said Rooks, of Westmoor-
ings, was driving south along the
Uriah Butler Highway in his gold
Toyota Yaris around 6.30 am when
he crashed into a concrete slab on
the western side of the highway
near the Caroni Bridge.
Rooks, police said, who worked
at Bermudez Biscuit Co, was alive
when officers of the Highway
Patrol arrived on the scene.
He was taken to the Eric
Williams Medical Complex where
he died while undergoing treat-
Commenting on the death,
Hadeed described Rooks as "a lov-
ing husband, father and a most
beautiful human being. He was
like a son."
An autopsy is to be conducted
Udecott moves in, so...
'run out of town'
Minister's relative killed in road crash
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Street vendors call for the removal of Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee
during protest yesterday against their planned dislocation from the Salvatori
Building site. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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