Street Vendors to Protest Violent Attack of Pregnant Woman Vendor by NYC Parks Officer

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Street Vendors to Protest Violent Attack of Pregnant Woman Vendor by NYC Parks Officer

Contact:
Rafael Samanez, Executive Director of VAMOS Unidos, (646)330-1951
Email: vamosunidos@gmail.com

When: August 11th, 2010 at 11:00am
Where: In front of the office of the Park’s Department, 95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Street vendors from the city-wide organization, VAMOS Unidos, will protest the attack on one of their own members by New York City Department of Parks officers and raise concerns of treatment of street vendors by law enforcement.

Carmen Inga, an Ecuadorian street vendor in Brooklyn’s Parade Grounds Park, was attacked by a Parks Dept. officer on July 29th, 2010. When police arrived on the scene, they found Ms. Inga was hurt and were informed that she is currently 3 months pregnant. Ms. Inga was rushed to the hospital. Mrs. Inga suffered cuts and bruises to her legs and arms. (Pictures of her injuries can be seen at http://vamosunidos.org.)

Ms. Inga was selling Italian Icies, a staple of New York City vendors, outside of the park grounds when she was approached by a Parks Dept. officer who proceeded to violently throw her to the ground. Ms. Inga states, “We are tired of the treatment by these Park’s Officers. We are tired of them treating us this way when all we are doing is providing a service to the community.”

Other street vendors in the area also report abusive treatment by Parks Dept. officers in Parade Grounds Park. Rosa Gonzalez, a 20 year vendor in the area, was also attacked about 6 months ago. Her arm was twisted as racial slurs were shouted at her.

Rafael Samanez, Director of VAMOS Unidos, states, “We are very concerned with these abuses of power by city workers and the lack of reporting from the 70th Precinct and the Parks Department.” He adds, “We are very disturbed that the appropriate precinct did not make a report of this incident, even when the victims insisted that a report be made. This is a serious problem that must be immediately addressed and fixed.”

VAMOS Unidos and Common Law, non-profit organization that provides legal services to New York organizations, are asking that an incident report be made so that the responsible Park Dept. officer be reprimanded for her actions. VAMOS Unidos is asking that an incident report be made so that the responsible Parks Dept. officer be reprimanded for her actions. The 70th Precinct did not have a record of the incident when VAMOS Unidos checked on August 2nd, 2010.

According to VAMOS Unidos, the problem lies at the city’s failure to increase the vending caps placed in 1979 and 1981. The caps limit the number of food vendors to 3,100 and general merchandise vendors to 853. The caps have not increased in 30 years, even though it would produce thousand of new jobs in New York as well as stimulate local economies from the purchases and sales of street vendors.

VAMOS Unidos is a worker rights’ organizations with hundreds of members of street-vendors from all boroughs. VAMOS Unidos provides services for street-vendors and advocate for legislation that provides workers with adequate access to vending licenses and permits.

-- VAMOS UNIDOS, 2431 Morris Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468, Tel:(718) 312-8624--

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