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Pushed-Out again! No vending allowed under RT Roundabout Tree

Barriers placed at the Road Town Roundabout in July 2017 to prevent any vending in the area. Photo: VINO/File
Barriers placed at the Road Town Roundabout in July 2017 to prevent any vending in the area. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN Tortola, VI- The ‘Little Man’, a phrase coined by the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP), continues to catch hell under the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). It was last year September 2016 that a tree next to the Wickham’s Cay Service Station was cut down to discourage local men from sitting under there.

Most often they were Spanish-speaking residents, many of whom had their immigration status intact and will sit under the tree and wait for day jobs, or as a place to socialise.

History of being pushed out

Then on July 10, 2017 the Ministry of Communications and Works forced out vendors from under another tree adjacent to the Wickham's Cay roundabout. It was a place where vendors, both locals and expats, most often with trade licences will sell everything from coconut water, fish, toys and alcohol. When there was public outcry about the treatment by Government, the NDP responded by saying they were simply relocating the vendors by the market area and they “were concerned about the aesthetic of Road Town.”

Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the tree lost most of its limbs and all of its leaves but is starting to turn green again. Now with most residents in survival gear, some vendors- including local residents selling fish and women selling lottery tickets- have returned under the tree by the roundabout.

It was yesterday December 11, 2017 that the City Manager Mrs Janice E. L. Brathwaite-Edwards ordered the area to be blocked off again with boulders. Speaking today December 12, 2017 to our newsroom, Mrs Brathwaite-Edwards said, “We do not want anyone selling there and at some point we will paint the rocks." The City Manager confirmed that she was the person who ordered the big boulders to be placed in the location to “keep vendors out.”

Tale of two opinions

The country has had mixed reactions over the continued pushing around of the vendors and the so-called ‘little man’ trying to make a living. The elite of the Virgin Islands and Road Town, the capital city, have said they should go because it makes the area look like a “shanti town, and that sight is not our culture” as the capital should look beautiful and pleasing to residents, and tourists.

Some local businesses have also claimed that the street vendors have undermined their own businesses, as the vendors have no “overhead.”

Many others believe that in these hard times the little man should be allowed to be there, as they are making an honest living, once they have the required trade license to operate a business in the Territory.

25 Responses to “Pushed-Out again! No vending allowed under RT Roundabout Tree”

  • Strupes (12/12/2017, 16:38) Like (15) Dislike (28) Reply
    Leave the people alone. They are not troubling anyone.. These are hard times. Everyone trying to feed their families..
  • cay (12/12/2017, 16:42) Like (9) Dislike (8) Reply
    the little man time is coming next elections
  • my two cents (12/12/2017, 17:07) Like (38) Dislike (6) Reply
    While everyone is entitled to make a living in his/her hometown, the market place has been provided for such activities. IMO they need to control food vending as well which seems to have spiralled out of control. You should not be allowed to pitch tent or set up anywhere YOU CHOOSE no matter how long you have been allowed to carry on. This is wrong. Please call a spade a spade.
    • @my two cents (13/12/2017, 05:41) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
      You are very insensitive.. U have to be a die hard NDP. Little Rain the market area flood out, it always congested with park vehicles, Then we have all those food Vans set up in the market area. Why we don't ask them to move to accommodate market vendors and shoppers. We need to respect honest Earnings,. Stop harassing the people. This is my suggestion, get their name and government go around every Friday and Collect $50. $75, $100. Depends. They need to stop complaining all the time and find solutions that works and keeps everyone happy. Be proactive. Stop the bitching.
      • my two cents (13/12/2017, 15:04) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        See how you judging. Sweetie I could care less about VIP, NDP ir any other P. What I am is a die hard BVIslander and more importantly a die hard Christian. But right is right and wrong is wrong. If everyone decides to pitch a tent all over town as it is becoming a new popular means of survival. What will our country look like...the trenches?? Is that what you want or do you even care...
  • ok (12/12/2017, 17:10) Like (19) Dislike (7) Reply
    They should've gave them til around February or so when things normalize and give them some rules to abide by like cleaning up after themselves, not impeding traffic etc. This is a different kind of time right now and will be like this for months. People are trying to hustle to make an honest dollar so this should be given a second look. I agree in 'normal' times it didn't 'look good' but look around now, NOTHING LOOKS GOOD! Let the people earn their monies just make sure they have a trade license and keep the place clean/safe.
    • @ok (13/12/2017, 03:13) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
      Do we have short term memory? Wasn't it just around a year ago that they had vendors removed from the roundabout enforcing the law that no vendors allowed there? What makes it right now to go back to vending in that area. That's why this place is the way it is, no respect for the laws. And then we want to blame our Government and Law Enforcement (Police) for everything we the residents are doing wrong. Don't you understand that, unless we the people do right and respect and abide by the laws, we will continue to live and suffer the consequences of a lawless society. We, the citizens/residents must do better if we want better.
  • ccc (12/12/2017, 17:23) Like (8) Dislike (11) Reply
    leave the people alone jan
  • pat (12/12/2017, 19:07) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    The ndp continue to be heartless to people this is wrong just after the hurricanes
  • dude (12/12/2017, 19:15) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    you people don't even know what your culture is. it's a poor excuse to be so overused.
  • I belong to u (12/12/2017, 19:17) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
    Ok we coming to look fo u then
    Cause our bills need to b paid and We don’t want to thief
    We comin thru lata
  • Yes (12/12/2017, 19:45) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    Some of them dont have license n the place look bad with all these tent n food van popping up on roud n on cross walk side walk parking area
  • Yes (12/12/2017, 20:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wyloc cut down dah tree ahready
  • Fran (12/12/2017, 20:51) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    The market is there for the vendors, but they have been ignoring the warning for a long time. They know good and well they were told to leave and set up correctly. Glad the officials put a stop to this, plus it was impeding traffic and looking squaller.
  • rattie (12/12/2017, 21:14) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Send them all by thoes who loot the treasury so they can get some of the money and dont have to sell in places they are not wanted
  • Some folks (12/12/2017, 21:15) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just will do whatever they feel like with no regards to decency ethics culture custom. Next thing they will be defecating where ever the urge dictates .
  • Anti-Ignorance (13/12/2017, 00:24) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is a roundabout in the middle of town. Nobody should be stopping or vending or chatting or any of that. There are plenty of other places out of the way of the main junction in town. We should have a bigger better market culture here and do more own own food. I se the market just across the street from there and then much unused land by cruise dock that could be decent quality food trucks and fun. Temp accommodation for some broken restaurants too. They do it well in California and Texas etc. not seedy or bad food. Interesting and innovative. Tourist would love it too.
  • vi (13/12/2017, 01:44) Like (6) Dislike (9) Reply
    That big head no shaped puppet ro evil
  • Culture???!!! (13/12/2017, 07:08) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    The BVI has lost their indentity years ago and can only act out what use to be their culture on occasions. Selling fish, farmed food, coconut etc from your truck or stand is our culture as these people will move from village to village vending their product. Jan so aged and she dont know this? Once the place is clean and within eviromental health standards nothing is wrong with it. The goverment so stupid they dont even realize that this is the kind of stuff tourist love once it is deemed safe and sanitary and advertised as a experience. Its called community tourism foolish tourist board!!!!! Take LEMONS AND MAKE LEMON AID DUMMIES. WE NEED SOMEONE WITH VISION AND IDEAS AS A TOWN MANAGER. TOWN COULD BE SO AWESOME BUT IT IS DEAD. THANK GOD FOR THE FEW RESTAURANTS THAT MAKE IT LIVELY.
  • elite (13/12/2017, 09:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    not our culture please! check some of their houses
  • Socrates (13/12/2017, 10:00) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is the relocation of vendors a safety or appearance issue? If it is appearance, what is more important an aesthetically pleasing environment or people earning a living? Of course, vendors should be monitored to ensure they procure permits and taking action to protect public health and safety. Can this situation be a win-win through some administrative actions, not necessarily engineering action. Chopping down a tree keep people using it as shelter was an engineering action. Other administrative actions could have been employed to keep the tree yet permit its use by residents.
  • captain existance (13/12/2017, 13:42) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    no one is allowed to live in the BVI. the GOVERNMENT says so. retards.
  • No (13/12/2017, 17:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    There must be some standards I don't believe you should every pander towards a lowering of your standards.
  • pete (14/12/2017, 09:38) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Build us an airport not needed, build us a Disney designed/inspired Pier Park that does not work no matter how many $'s spent on advertising and kill off the "island" vendors that the tourist enjoy, because the NDP and the Premier and BIG people that want this to be a BIG place, not Natures Little Secret that real tourists crave. All to fill pockets and egos and get an airport named for them. Cannot believe how selfish these folk are. However it looks to me like it unraveling, yeh!!

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