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Street Vendor Protest in West Jerusalem, 12/16/10: photos & video
On December 16th, 2010, at Zion Square on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, activists gathered in support of street vendors who have recently started losing their licenses and having their stands taken away by civil authorities.
The vendors were originally granted the licenses to vend as a part of a post-prison rehabilitation program, but now the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, is pushing to make the city a more expensive one and has determined that the vendors no longer fit the image of his new gleaming Jerusalem. Despite the fact that the vendors paid for their own carts and sheds, police and city workers came to raze their property in the middle of the night with no compensation made to the vendors. At this point, only five vendors have been put out of business as such, but with the city currently revoking the licenses of many other vendors and issuing fines to those who are defiant and remain open, it is expected that Jerusalem is in the process of shutting down most of the hundreds of other vendors in both West and East Jerusalem -- unless enough resistance builds to have it stopped. Disappointingly, though, only the vendors that have lost their businesses attended this demonstration -- others perhaps were too afraid to join in protest at this point.
This vendor paid 40,000 shekels for his booth that he has worked in for the past 12 years. Now that civil authorities have completely destroyed his livelihood, he is worried about where his income will come from and does not want to return to a life of crime.
Street Vendor Protest in West Jerusalem, 12/16/10