Gros Islet coconut protest fizzles out; ignites debate on social media

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Gros Islet coconut protest fizzles out; ignites debate on social media
File photo

(SNO) –Altough they were defiant and appeared resolute in the face of relocation, coconut vendors along the Gros Islet highway seemed to have lost steam in a short-lived protest.

HTS is reporting that during a visit to the site on Wednesday, only one vendor was seen in the area which is normally filled and buzzing with activity.

This was a far cry from Tuesday when they made it clear that they do not intend to move to Bois D’orange as dictated by the Gros Islet Constituency Council (GICC).

Previously, the GICC had placed no-vending signs along the highway and although the police showed up in the area on Tuesday, the vendors were defiant and put up their own signs.

Although there has been no word from the vendors on the latest development, it appeared they have relented.

However, the matter has ignited debate among many Saint Lucians on social media.

The majority of the people who commented appeared to be on the side of the vendors while others said they understand the position the vendors were taking but the area was simply not the best.

“And the government wondering why robbery is going up. Make an honest living minsters wanna fight you. So they want u to kill n steal to feed your family,” Nikki Goldy Raymond said on Facebook.

Willow Daisy wrote, “I’m very disappointed. They need to leave these vendors alone. They are trying to earn an honest living. This is ridiculous…y fix what’s not broken?”

Some believe there needs to be more organization in the area for vending.

Ron Wish wrote on Facebook, “They have to be more organize not standing in road begging people to buy water.”

On Facebook, Felicia Browne said she supports the vendors, but believes the area is not the ideal one.

“I support the vendors but it is not safe at that location,” she wrote. “It is on the shoulder and it can pose traffic hazards. We can perhaps look into setting up a shed opposite the Massy supermarket or nearby but not on the road edges. It is not safe my people.”

On another post in the same matter, she insisted that the location is not safe.

“Everyone who loves coconut water will know where to find them,” she wrote. “We are too comfortable with doing things as is. The current location is a hazard. The location is not as far as where they were before. Clients will now have to drive and park in a safe location to buy coconuts. I am happy to know this.”

Darnley Lebourne agreed.

“Priority must be given to the safety of the vendors and drivers/commuters as well,” he wrote. “The identified alternative area is already developing nicely as a food station as there are a few persons doing jerk, etc. The Daher Mall area will take both the vendors and their patrons away from the immediate traffic environment thus removing the attendant risk. The area also has much more capacity to accommodate expansion of coconut vending activity. People must stop being obstructionist and cooperate with the Government efforts to bring about overall betterment.”

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7 COMMENTS

  1. SMH. A few years ago the former Parliamentary Rep and the GICC started the move to relocate these vendors. All the rep had to do is go with the recommendation and develop a STREET VENDORS ACT. Then the authorities would noe be acting on a piece of legislation and no one would be able tomake noise. THOSE VENDORS NEED TO BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY. There has been accidents and the location is not safe. Should we wait for a road fatality or a major accident? Those guys have no form of sanitation but people buy form them. They go pee in the bush no hands washing and come back to sell for all u. I saw that with my 2 eyes. Could never buy from these guys.

    (7)(2)

    • Uncreative wow, this does not negate the fact that the current government is seeking to block the poor vendors from making an honest living to take care of their families.

      (1)(5)

      • Could have sworn that they were RELOCATED....not PREVENTED from selling. Some people will make anything and everything political

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  2. Oh course it hits a nerve people begin to see and get fed up with they way things are going in this country with the distribution and equality of wealth it seems like it's only for some and not for everyone

    (4)(6)

    • Note that wealth is not and should not be distributed. It is earned. It is wrong for all governments to distribute wealth. What the governments have been saying that the location is unsafe. They have not prevented anybody from making a living, they have in fact moved them to a location which is safer and has certain amenities. T Previously the vendors were urinating all in font of the establishments along the highway and using the same dirty hands to serve you coconut water. Is that what you want? Why are people in St. Lucia now so determined to stop progress? Its like a desperation.

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