The Michael Finnegan's market is again a site of contention and controversy. This time the fight is about a list of 13 new rules for vendors which the city council has implemented.
These rules stipulate everything from a "no-pets" policy to a mandatory footwear policy. Now rules are rules but the market is also the market, and implementation which started on Wednesday has been met with stern resistance from some quarters of the market.
Today it flared up in a physical confrontation where a pregnant woman had to be rushed to the KHMH in an ambulance after she was allegedly beaten up by market security. We spoke to her husband whop asked to appear off camera:..
Voice of; Felipe Valencia, Husband of Beaten Woman
"He said that this morning they were coming and a lady that work in this market, went with a black guy and then he said that the throw away all of the bags and all of the tomatoes that they had in the bag and then they left."
"He is saying that the lady told them that it was contraband; they had gone to the terminal and rip up everything that was there."
"I would say it was like mid-day when this happen and my customers were eating and they saw a commotion by the bathroom, and something happened with a vendor that brought vegetables. What happened was that all the special constable ran outside to grab the lady and her husband, by the way they were grabbing her, they were physically man handling her, that's what I would say."
"My customer had to physically leave his table and go outside and tell him, thats not the way to do it, so they said to him no this is our job and this is the way we are doing our job now and it was just too much."
"Yesterday evening - my baby is only two years old, he went to the other lady stall and he throw down an apple, my mom paid for it. The lady got upset and went to the security and told them. Now the security came and grab my baby and wanted to beat my little boy, my mom intervene because they said that they were going to call social. They called the police and the police wanted to beat my
mom and my baby, they wanted to talk both of them, but the people in the market didn't allow them to be taken."
"Look how they have the market right now, they are brining scenery to the people, and they have one lady that is making all the trouble at the market."
"One Special Constable?"
"One Special Constable gives all the trouble in the market, for what? We want to know, do you know how long we are at this market?"
"I am here from since I was little, I remember the last person that did the market this same thing, you see what happened to him, they chopped him up. I am explaining from when I was little I see what is happening in this market. Why is she doing all of what she is doing, she worries about kids, what is she trying to prove, we know election is next year everyone knows that. But the way they
are going about, do you think we will vote them in."
"She is the security and she doesn't take care of anything here, she always wants to beat up people. The lady who is in the hospital, she lost her baby."
"I see you're getting emotional, are you tired of dealing with all of this?"
"Yes, we need to change these security, they don't care about us they only worry about themselves, somebody else brought two sacks of cabbage, and they took it away. What will they do with it, they didn't call customs to come and pick up the cabbage, and they have two sack of cabbage right there. They are not worried about the cabbage, they will take it."
The woman is 33 year old Maria Valencia. Up until the time we checked she is still hospitalized at the KHMH. The young woman who is 4 months pregnant did not lose her baby. And just to list out a few of the new rules that was issued out to these vendors, They are:
Vendors must present themselves in a professional manner at all times, including attire and footwear.
All vendors are required to clean up their stalls after usage which includes the selling and parking spaces. Failure to clean up properly will result in a fine equivalent to the cost of cleanup and or loss of future selling privilege.
Discourtesy to patrons and special constables, obscene language and shouting is not permitted.
Let's see how all that goes.