Statement on the St. George Market Square

The treatment meted out to vendors at the St. George’s Market Square in recent days, in ordering them to suddenly leave their booths, is unsatisfactory and downright disrespectful. People who have not been able to vend since March, were forced to protest the continued closure of the market.

The NDC is urging the government to engage the protesting vendors in discussion, so they may have a clear understanding of when they will be allowed to return to their businesses, after not being able to ply their trade for over four months. It is critical that they are given an undertaking that they will be back at the market vending within the shortest possible time.

NDC is aware of the government’s belated statement indicating that repair work is about to commence on the St. George’s Market. NDC welcomes the long overdue work as it will certainly enhance the area and afford vendors better facilities to do business. However, this work could have been done in the months when the market was closed.

We take issue with the government for not purposefully engaging the vendors and sensitizing them about the planned repair work. The vendors deserved this minimum courtesy. Respectful engagement of the vendors would certainly have avoided the tensions of the last few days.

Also of grave concern to the NDC is the belief expressed by several of the vendors that the market has been sold.

We call on MP for the area, Hon. Peter David to engage the vendors respectfully. Furthermore, we demand on their behalf, immediate payment of the relief package the Prime Minister promised since April.

Finally, it is crucial that Peter David clears the air on whether the market has been sold and if yes, to whom and why.

To the vendors, we understand the hardship you are now suffering and we stand in solidarity with you.