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Vendors announce a street rally

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 21
Vendors who had their vending counters on Agmashenebeli Avenue near the Marjanishvili metro station in central Tbilisi, have announced they will hold a street rally in front of the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office, as they were deprived of the right to continue their activities in the streets.

Early on March 19, representatives of Tbilisi Mayor’s Office emptied the area of the vendors’ belongings.

The Mayor’s Office said the touristic area was overcrowded by street vending, which hindered the movement of people and damaged the view of the renovated part of the capital city.

They office said they are now communicating with the directors of several legal vending areas for them to allow the vendors to use new counters free of charge for the first several months.

The vendors say they were not warned about the Mayor’s Office decision, and some of them told local media that they suffered damages due to the lack of information, as they say that some of their belongings have been lost.

They also say that street vending is the only source of income for many of them.

The vendors stressed they wouldn’t be against moving to another place if the conditions were acceptable for them.

They demanded lower rent for the new vending areas and not the 50 GEL daily cost they previously paid as a condition by many directors of vending facilities.

The vendors say if their offers aren’t taken into account, they will hold multiple rallies or join the vendors of the burnt vending centre Children’s World in the centre of Tbilisi, who are on a hunger strike and demanding compensation from the local and state governments.