Street Vendors Say Proposal To Oust Them From WTC Site Is Islamophobic

The City Council is considering legislation that would expand the restricted vending area around the World Trade Center site, displacing 22 street vendors who say the proposal is racially motivated. City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who sponsored the bill, insists she supports street vendors, but that the bill is about public safety—the NYPD maintains that street vendor carts could conceal explosives and often contain flammable gases. At a hearing last week, Oleg Chernyavsky, the NYPD’s director of legislative affairs, asserted that a proliferation of food vendors “can soften an officer’s vigilance when similar looking equipment being used to hide explosives is placed near the vendors who legitimately ply their trade,” Patch reports.

The Street Vendors Project, an advocacy group which has 1,800 vendor members, has taken issue with this claim.

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