A Los Angeles City Councilman is calling for new legislation to better protect street vendors following a rise in attacks.
District 3 Councilman Bob Blumenfield says these street vendor attacks often are not directed solely at the vending activity but are accompanied by anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language. And while these attacks clearly violate existing laws, he says it is also clear that they target a vulnerable population.
“In that particular incident that happened in my district last week, that wasn’t just a theory. That person was hurling all sorts of a racial slurs,” Blumenfield said.
Many of these attacks go unreported due to fear over immigration status. That’s why supporters say they are standing up for vendors and helping them have a voice.
Blumenfeld’s call-to-action comes a week after an ax-wielding man destroyed a fruit vendor’s stand in Woodland Hills. Locals say these types of violent attacks happen all the time.
On Sunday, a large crowd gathered at the spot where the vendor’s produce stand was destroyed. Many brought signs, others bought produce, and passing vehicles honked in a show of solidarity.
“It’s sad and it’s frustrating and this is the angriest I’ve been since the same guy keeps getting away,” Edin Enamordo, a street vendor advocate told KTLA.
Last week’s ax attack was caught on camera and the alleged assailant has apparently gone after street vendors on several occasions. The man, believed to be Daniel Joseph McGuire, attacked another fruit vendor at the same intersection in March. Two months later, at a rally in support of the vendor, McGuire returned, yelling and cursing at demonstrators while holding a dog on a leash.
Police have positively identified McGuire in at least two of the incidents.
On Sunday, another viral video began to spread of a man attacking a street vendor in Hancock Park. The assailant is seen attacking the street vendor, stealing his minivan, and driving off.
With this latest instance of violence against street vendors, supporters seem to be coming together more than ever.
“Imagine if we aren’t here and imagine how messed up that would be that they would have to figure it out on their own,” Enamordo said.
Enarmado said he will continue to support street vendors and be by their side when they return to their corners to sell their goods to the community.