. . . cry foul over police action
A day after fruit vendor Junior “Fox” Greenidge defiantly declared that he would not be budging from his location on the Duncan O’Neal Bridge, the City, lawmen swooped down illegal vendors who have been operating without permits, ordering them to leave the area.
However, fortunately for Greenidge, he was in possession of a valid permit to sell and therefore was allowed to continue plying his trade in a location he has been occupying for the past three decades.
On the other hand, those vendors who were not in possession of valid permits to sell were asked by lawmen to remove their trays immediately from the location or face prosecution.
When a team from Barbados TODAY arrived on the scene around noon, Ortis Samuel, who had spoken to this paper on Thursday had already removed his fruit trays and had them neatly stacked away in a footpath next to the bridge.
When asked to comment on today’s action, Samuel who has been selling on the bridge for the past 30 years, said he had packed away his goods and was going in search of a permit to sell.
However, the most heart-wrenching story was told by 79-year-old Lavinia Daniel of Bulkeley Terrace, St George, who told Barbados TODAY she only sells vegetables on Fridays on St Michael’s Row to prevent her seven sons and one daughter from going to prison.
Close to tears, the elderly woman explained that her children were not working; therefore her family’s only means of survival came from working the land around their home.
“What am I going to do if the police run me? I had a permit, but now they are not issuing any more permits, so right now I do not know what to do.
“Can you believe that one of the officers told me that they have some place in St Philip [Dodds prison] where I can be locked away if I do not move.
“I am just helping my children to keep them out of prison. Why can’t I sell little things to help them, only on Fridays? We are still in bondage,” she complained.
Expressing disgust over the action taken by lawmen, one displaced vendor asked: “Why are the police removing us from this location? Why don’t they go in Coleridge Street, Pinfold Street and Bush Hill and remove all of the homosexuals who sell their bodies right in front of their faces.
“We are not doing anything illegal. We are just trying to find a job that the state cannot or is unwilling to provide for us. We have bills to pay and children to feed. We got laid off and the Government cannot provide any work.”
Christopher Clarke, who has been selling fruits with one of his friends on the bridge for the past two to three years, argued that Barbadians now have to be in possession of a permit to live.
“It makes no sense now. You have to go through the authorities for everything you do. This is the only job I have. I have a son, but he is mostly maintained by his mother. I do not know what I am going to do in the future,” Clarke said.
Twenty-five-year-old James Barker, 25, who is the father of three children and was displaced by police action this morning, told Barbados TODAY that he sells oils, soaps and incense to provide for his children.