Friday, December 9, 2011

Sao Paulo street vendors attacked

The Military Police moved in on 7,000 street vendors in the Bras neighborhood of Sao Paulo, destroying a market that has drawn as many as 30,000 people a day for the past eight years, Street Net reports. Bras is where many vendors from the downtown market on Rua 25 de Marco had fled after a similar police putsch there.

Leonardo Dunas, the Secretary General of the Union of Independent Street Vendors, noted that the breakup of the market was illegal under customary law, since the vendors have been operating with the tacit agreement of shot owners and the local government. In addition, Sao Paulo by-laws actually allow street vending.

“It seems there may be political interests at play.  There are plans to develop the area and build a hotel and commercial complex. Certainly, some investors might have the 2014 World Cup in mind, we don’t know”, Dunas said. “We are here to denounce policy brutality, to defend the right to work, and the rights of thousands of families who want to make an honest living.”

The eviction of the market in Bras occurred in late October. If anyone knows the situation on the ground now, please post updated details in the comments.

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