Water St vendors outraged as M&CC ignores injunction

“I fed up” was the cry of many outraged vendors who ply their trade outside the old Guyana Stores Storage Zinc bondBond on Water Street, Georgetown, after the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) ignored an injunction restraining the Council from removing the vendors from the area.
The injunction was obtained on May 4 by Attorney Anil Nandlall on the behalf of his client, Peter Warran. Nandlall had applied for and obtained an interim injunction granted by Justice Roxanne George restraining the Town Clerk, his servants and agents from removing several of the vendors’ stalls and goods situated at the Bond.
However, Warran explained that on Wednesday, several City Constables came to the area and removed their stalls as well as their merchandise. “We had some jeans out there; we put out some jeans to sell. The Constable came and take them down and I explain to the Constable that there was an injunction and that there was a case, and we should be allowed to sell and the Constable said that he’s working with orders,” the frustrated vendor explained.
He related that the area which they occupy was not located on the pavement but on private property. Warran further went on to say that he was not against relocating temporarily for the sake of clearing up the area, but was unhappy with the fact that they were not given a proper time frame.
Meanwhile, Maureen Clarke, who sells ladies’ apparel, explained that she was not present when the Constables came and removed the stalls, which resulted in her incurring a huge loss. “They break up my stall, and the night that they break up my stall … my mother die same time. So I ain’t had much of a chance to carry away nuff thing from meh stall. I lose a lot of stuff. They break up and seize meh thing and carry it away … I need money. Right now, my mom dead and I need money for the wake and funeral. The stress deh pon me right now. They trying fuh tell me now that they ain’t carry away nothing fuh me and I lying. It only leff fuh I fall down and dead right now, cause I fed up,” the distraught women cried.
Joycelyn Moore shared similar sentiments as she explained that she also lost a large quantity of her goods. “I wasn’t here at the said time when they came and broke the stall, but they pass a notice to us which is from Royston King that said that within 24 hours we must remove,” the woman related.
She echoed Warran’s sentiments that they should not have been forcibly removed, because they ply their trade on private property. “Is not Royston King put us here…is not the Council place…is a private place. And the owner of this place had given us permission to sell. A couple years back, the owner gave us his transport to take Council to court and we won. Council should not be the one to tell us to remove,” Moore declared.
She went on to say that they were constantly told by the Council that they were vending there illegally; however, despite these claims, M&CC agents collect $1000 from them weekly as a fee. “I don’t think Royston King know what he is doing…they trying to beautify the place and everything and putting it all in place, but what about us that are Guyanese that work so hard in this country? I believe that they should give us a chance, so that we could be able to earn a daily living. I have a lot of bills to pay and children to look after. Who are going to help me? I lose couple days’ sale, who is going to pay my bills? Who is going to send my children to school? None of them! They in their office and collecting their money. We have to work in the sun and the rain,” she stated.
Moore declared that she was begging the relevant Government officials to show some sort of interest in their well-being. “To the relevant authority that is in Government, You know we work very hard for y’all to be there and even to my little grandchild I used to give fliers to share out so that they could be where they are today. And when they get this message I am asking if they could be able to help us cause my vote count. Is my vote, my family vote help put them there today,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Attorney Nandlall explained that he was informed that the court order was duly served upon the Town Clerk by a marshal of the High Court, yet the Council and its agents were acting contrary to the order.
“This conduct constitutes a gross violation of the order of Justice George. The law on this is very clear. It is the uncompromising duty of every person who is the subject of a court order to obey the same irrespective of how wrong that person may feel that the order is. A failure to obey any order of court constitutes contempt of court and is punishable with imprisonment. Needless to say contempt of court proceedings would be filed if the court order continues to be violated,” he related.