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Vendors Seek Street Justice

New York City has more than 10,000 licensed and unlicensed street vendors. Many vendors say they are constantly fighting harassment by police  as they try to eek out a living. The City Council is considering setting up an vendor advisory board as sidewalk merchants complain they are facing growing fines and even confiscation of their carts.

(A version of this story originally appeared on “219 West,” a monthly TV news magazine show broadcast on CUNY-TV)

  • Deborah

    Anyone who thinks that police harrassment isn’t a problem is in denial about the plight of New York City Street Vendors. This poor woman’s debacle and her treatment at the hands of city officials was astonishing. Street vendors serve their community, often growing strong ties with local residents and businesses- under no circumstances should they ever have to contend with the unprofessional, discourteous and often rude conduct on the part of the NYPD.

  • Craig

    I was eating food near the Red Hook Food Vendors when an official from a city department started harassing the owners of one of the trucks about the size of their propane tank. I spoke with one of the truck owners and he said, every week, they get a fine. For example, did you know that those food vendors can’t put prices on their signs? So, one of the trucks had the prices blacked out, or else they would have got a fine. Now that seems pretty ridiculous to me.