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First Legal Union of Illegal Street Vendors Created In Barcelona 61

dkatana writes: Street vendors across Barcelona's tourist districts last week created their own union to negotiate with city officials. Barcelona has a new mayor, and new policies dealing with the "Top Manta" (for the blankets — or mantas — they spread out on the sidewalk). The recently-elected left-leaning administration in this Mediterranean city is taking a new — and controversial — approach to this complex issue. They argue that the real fault is the government's for not having a more comprehensive immigration policy. Mayor Ada Colau has welcomed the newly created Popular Union for Street Vendors (Sindicato Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes), established by the illegal vendors themselves.
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First Legal Union of Illegal Street Vendors Created In Barcelona

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... and this is on Slashdot because.....?

  • Taxes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by itamihn ( 1213328 ) on Tuesday October 13, 2015 @03:26AM (#50715821) Homepage

    I, for one, welcome these street vendors. As long as they have all the permissions in order to open a business, respect trademarks, and pay taxes and rental of the space they use.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      .... And products sold are not counterfeit, they give invoices of products sold, with 15 day refund option, 2 year guarantee, etc.

      It is absolutely stupid that a union of ilegals can be legal. The only place in the world for such stupidity is my country.

      • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday October 13, 2015 @03:56AM (#50715887) Journal
        In many countries, organisations can be declared illegal if the goal of that organisation is to commit illegal acts (by charter or in practice). That can be hard to prove, but it happens. Some motor clubs have been banned on those grounds. Conversely, a "guild of thieves" could well be legal if the members don't talk shop and if the organisation only has lawful goals, like legal aid to arrested thieves. (Be sure that they'd be under extreme scrutiny though). And that's as it should be: freedom of association is an important right.

        Does this union of street vendors pursue illegal goals, or are they striving for legalisation and do they wish to act as spokesperson for street vendors in discussions on the topic? It seems that it's the latter case. Setting aside the question of what the best way is to deal with these street vendors, the mayor wants to discuss this with them, and as such it makes sense to invite this union to the table.
        • Re:Taxes? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dargaud ( 518470 ) <> on Tuesday October 13, 2015 @05:35AM (#50716079) Homepage
          It reminds me of prostitution in my country: it's illegal, but there's the professional category for when you declare your taxes. So it's illegal but perfectly taxed. Talk about state hypocrisy. I don't know about pimp though.
        • I suspect that this is also one of those situations where the fact that 'law' tends to have ways of bending to practicality is showing up.

          The activities of the street vendors are illegal, and some of them probably have pretty dubious immigration status; but the fact that they remain active, are quite numerous, and are visible enough to form a union suggests that the local authorities lack the will or ability to suppress their vending; and the national authorities the will or ability to process them all a
          • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

            No it is illogical. Its absolutely wrong on so many levels and ultimately isn't even good for the vendors.

            Think about it for two seconds and it should be obvious why this is deeply stupid.

            Enforcement issues:
            If you haven't the will or ability to enforce a law than its probably not a good law. Maybe because you can't know if the law is being broken without in most cases breaking other laws.

            Maybe because its something like this where the practice is common and accepted by the public. Enforcement quickly b

    • It's kind of amusing that I could see a libertarian making this exact same argument against these vendors.
  • does that mean more crime in already crime stricken Barcelona, or less? I love the place but it needs a proper crackdown on pickpocketing, muggings and stabbings so that crime isn't the first thing people mention when you talk about the place.

    • Apart from their illegal trade most of these immigrants are not violent. There has been a few clashes with the police but the situation is calm now. Actually there is very little violent crime in Barcelona. Pickpocketing is an issue, but no more than in other popular tourist cities such as Paris and Rome.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        You are disingenuous. Barcelona is in the black list for tourism because the authorities do not pursue pickpocketing AT ALL, and have legalized it "de facto". They can steal your money in front of the thugs they hired as police because they will not do anything to stop them. There is no need to commit violent crime because delinquents like the Latin Kings have been approached by the local government, telling them to organize as an association so that the authorities can give them plenty of money in exchange

      • You can't be serious about the crime rate: "not worse than Rome or Paris". You _do_ realize how bad the street crime rates in these cites are, don't you?

        That besides: no, the Spanish might be as wet as fuck when it comes to non-violent crime, but I'm glad this doesn't hold for anything violent. The illegals know this -- they're not just refraining from violent crime because they are nice people...

    • Crime stricken, really? I recently spent 4 days there. No sign of anything different from any western city - except the free music festival. Felt comfortable walking around at any hour.

      Yes there are vendors, both local and migrant, selling the same old junk. But hey, live and let live.

  • Could you do that somewhere else?
    Next step: legal union of pushers to negotiate with police.
    • Sorry? Isn't that what is happening in the USA? As I recall, cannabis is finally legal in some states. If you can choose between tolerated outlaws at least abiding some common sense and working with the police, or downright gansters being pushed into heavier and heavier organised crimes, I choose the dialog option.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It **is** happening in the USA.

      12M illegal immigrants are "negotiating" with current politicians about being recognized, so they won't be deported if caught. All those people haven't been paying the same (if any) taxes all these years and have been living in an underground, cash-based, subculture inside the USA.

      I realize they are economic refuges in search of a better life, but that doesn't make their being in the USA legal. 100K+ immigrants are allowed legally into the USA annually. They filed the paperwo

  • You gotta remember that the Catalans keep electing left-wing lunatics into the Generalitat and into the city government, so they're always doing crazy stuff like that.

    While the national government has a generally sensible policy of "not feeding the pigeons" with respect to illegals, the local government has always been full of ex-Communist and ex-Black Bloc lunatics.

    The other stupid thing they do? They see robbers, pickpockets and scammers (the majority who are foreign criminals) as "victims", and never pro

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For the past 40 years the biggest party in Catalonia, and the one with most years of government, has been CiU. Which it's right-wing. Also the previous mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, was from CiU.
      I dunno where you get your information.
      But, I have to oblige, that RIGHT NOW it's harder to see. 'cause the pro-independence parties of left, right, wing, middle, and the extremes, and ... are merging together in a unique coalition to push forward for independence.
      For the rest of the comments about the "national

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      stupid comment is stupid

  • by bobaferret ( 513897 ) on Tuesday October 13, 2015 @08:03AM (#50716469)

    You mean they couldn't get married before now?

  • I suddenly understand where the "manta ray" got its name from :)

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