ACDA calls for return of Stabroek Market vendors
Stabroek News
March 14, 2007

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The African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) says the welfare of vendors is much more important in the long run than the economic boost the country may enjoy by the influx of tourists who will come to Guyana for Cricket World Cup.

The organization, in a statement, registered it concerns as regards the Stabroek Market vendors' scenario and urged city councillors who are not in support of the Town Clerk's and central government's edict to demonstrate solidarity with the vendors.

ACDA said it is paying keen interest to what is called "the injustices being meted out to the vendors under all sorts of narrow and opportunist pretext." ACDA demands the immediate reinstatement of the vendors so they can continue providing for themselves and children, the statement said.

The organisation also said it noted with concern "the largesse given to the recognized businesses, entities - hotels, suppliers of goods and services including small and large construction firms."

ACDA stated however that, "women across race and particularly the African poor trying to make a living are blocked and stymied at every juncture via collaboration between administrative official of City Hall led by Town Clerk Beulah Williams and political officials of the Central Government, Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn and Minister of Local Government Kellawan Lall."

It is against this background that the association contended that the situation assumes alarming proportions when it is realized that elected members of the city council who disagree with the administration's position to remove the vendors are being ignored.

As such ACDA believes "it is very clear that the much vaunted talk about local democracy has been trampled underfoot by the officials spearheading the assault on vendors."

It said the Town Clerk, who unlike the city councillors will not be contesting the upcoming local government polls, "feels that she can do as she pleases since she claims that her position under the law compels her to ignore any decision that councillors may take which she disagrees with.

"She posits that her position is backed by law. May we remind her that slavery was also supported by the law and unjust laws serve only to suppress the disenfranchised and the powerless," the ACDA statement said.