Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Victory for the Sao Paulo Vendors - can this be true?

The Sao Paulo Forum of Street Vendors staged a demonstration on on 20th June before the Tribunal of Justice in Sao Paulo to protest against the decision of the Mayor Gilberto Kassab to withdraw all trading licenses in Sao Paulo. To their surpise and delight, the Judge who had overturned the lower court decision to condemn the Mayor's decision changed his mind and has repealed his own judgement.  What has happened?  (1) The Mayor withdrew the trading licenses. (2) The Lower Court ruled that the Mayor's decree was not valid. (3) The Higher Court ruled that the Lower Court was interfering in administrative decisions and that the ruling was therefore not valid. (4) The Higher Court Judge reviewed his decision and declared that the licenses as issued since 2012 were valid.

So an amazing victory and a labyrinth of legal rulings.  How can a street vendor be expected to understand all these legal rulings? Is it not time to rethink the legal basis for street vending in Sao Paulo and re-establish the Permanant Forum on Street Vending so that street vending can be regulated with the participation of the vendors themselves?

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