Street vendors in Yerevan today gathered outside the Municipality to protest Yerevan Mayor’s decision to ban street vending.
The protesters were chanting, “Shame on you!” “We are hungry,” “Mayor, you were not elected by people,” “Do not deprive us of our daily bread.”
“We demand to legalize street trading. We carry on legal trade and pay taxes in time. We have even placed cash registers. Now they come and say that the trade is illegal,” said protester Armen Sargsyan.
“Many influential organizations stand idle nowadays while the city officials advise us to find some other job,” said Edgar Zardaryan.
Most of the protesters conducted trade near metro stations, markets and bus stops in order to keep their families. Many said they had bank loans and would not be able to recover them if left jobless.
The municipality has offered the vendors alternative options – shopping centers and markets, but the protesters do not want to move to markets due to lack of finances.
“Markets are for peasants while we are resellers and live on the few pennies earned from the resale,” said the protesters.
The street traders demanded that the mayor meet them and answer their questions.
“The other day, a municipality security guard gave my child AMD 2000. We did not come to the Municipality to beg, we are here to demand equal working opportunities,” said a protester who had three underage children to feed.
Without receiving a definite answer, the protesters left the site and joined the rally organised by the People’s Party near the Matenadaran Research Institute of Old Manuscripts.