중앙데일리

Some Cheonggye vendors operating

Dec 02,2003
Following fierce protests by street vendors who were evicted from the Cheonggye area of the capital, the Seoul Metropolitan Government allowed some of the evicted merchants to continue operating their businesses inside a sports stadium in eastern Seoul yesterday.
On Sunday, city workers cleared an eight-block section near the site of the Cheonggye stream restoration construction project, just east of the city center, in order to narrow the sidewalks along the street there. As a result, Hwanghak-dong Flea Market, a 30-year-old open air market, was eliminated.
Belongings of 600 merchants out of a total of 1,200 in the Cheonggye area were moved to Seoul’s Dongdaemun Stadium and Nanji Sewage Treatment Plant. The city decided to let 400 merchants who cooperated with the city’s eviction operate their businesses inside the stadium.
“It’s just not fair,” said Lee Hye-seon, a 50-year-old street vendor who used to sell noodle soup at her open air eatery. “I do this and that to make ends meet, but I was not allowed to resume my business at the stadium.”
The street merchants are demanding that the city designate a flea market district and organize a street fair in order to grant them business rights. “Most of the street vendors are poor, but only 30 percent of them were allowed to continue business,” said Hong Eung-sik, an official of the National Street Vendor Association. “We will fight until the city government builds a flea market area.”
As complaints grew about the city’s inconsistent decision, the city government said it had no other option. The city had labeled the Cheonggye area a “street vendor free” district and had warned of crackdowns to clear out the street.
Civic groups said the city needs a better policy. “Instead of repeated crackdowns, protests and the resumption of illegal business, the city should establish a registration system to actually issue permits and supervise the street vendors’ operations,” said Kim Eun-hee of the Citizens’ Solidarity for a Walkable and Sustainable City.
Sreet merchants protested in front of Seoul’s City Hall yesterday, demanding the city government guarantee their livelihoods.


by Yang Young-yu


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장