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Dec 18, 2012

Fried chicken vendor fights City Council as he is moved from Albert Street

Food vendor, Paul Ferguson, was hauled from his popular fried chicken stand on Albert Street and taken to the police station at around one p.m. today. It triggered a big commotion as patrons and bystanders crowded the stand when he was taken away by the cops. Ferguson, who is a fixture in downtown Belize City, has been selling fried chicken for over a year now across from the Commercial Center. According to Ferguson, an employee of the Belize City Council known to him as Mister Butler, approached and cut off his gas fryer. Butler demanded that Ferguson remove his food stand since he is not allowed to sell on the street side in downtown Albert Street. The police were called in shortly after and Ferguson was arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station. But after being detained for three to four hours, Ferguson was charged for insulting words.

 

Paul Ferguson, Evicted

Paul Ferguson

“For years I have been on Albert Street selling, but I guess Mister Butler has a restaurant in the Commercial Center and whenever I go on Albert Street, I guess his business drop.”

 

Duane Moody

“You were taken by police; tell us about the charge that you receive.”

 

Paul Ferguson

“I was taken to the police station by police at the request of Mister Butler and they charged me for insulting words—imagine insulting words. Not obstructing justice; not obstructing the side walk, but for insulting words—a shame.”

 

Shari Bowen, Niece

“We just di sell chicken right yah on the side walk and City Council people come and say we have to move from here. And it is unfair because everybody else is selling out here and he only move we one from out here. What is the problem? They charge him for insulting words; not even for being on the side walk. So charges for what when everyone else; William Quan people is selling; Hofius is selling front there and you are going to move us. We are making an honest money and you are going to move us from out here. If we start to thief or murder then you know, but we are making an innocent money. Come on, everybody have to eat; dah Christmas time. He sells here; everyday he sells out here.”

 

Duane Moody

“So what is the problem now?”

 

Shari Bowen

Shari Bowen

“I don’t know what is their problem; I don’t know. They are just saying that we need to move from out here. And because my uncle tell him just let us continue fry the chicken, they turned off his fryer an all. The guy turned it off. According to my uncle, his daughter sells food inside the City Centre here and they are not making no money. But we are making money out ya, so I guess that dah why dehn wah move we from out yah. But come on, business dah business. It better we come out yah and come make wah honest money than do stealing. So it’s wrong what they did.”

 

Duane Moody

“How long were you detained for?”

 

Paul Ferguson

“Approximately three to four hours?”

 

Duane Moody

“And now what are you going to do? They’ve stopped you from working out there.”

 

Paul Ferguson

“Well I’m going back to Albert Street. I’m going back to Albert Street to sell chicken right now. this is my livelihood. Why should I stop? These are the things the Prime Minister gotta look into. People like Mister Butler that want to enforce the law the wrong way. I don’t see nothing wrong with me selling on Albert Street. If they want to remove me from Albert Street, remove all the vendors from Albert Street.”

 

According to Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, Ferguson was offered an alternate location within Battlefield Park, from where he can sell his fast-food.  Ferguson’s refusal to relocate his business, says the mayor, prompted city council personnel to move in on him earlier today.  Mayor Bradley told News Five that Ferguson’s frying station, poses a direct health and safety risk to passersby on Albert Street.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“I got a report that we had to; we consider that person to be a peddler because he is on the sidewalk. And there were two main complaints: one, the location of where he is and then the second concern was related to certain health concerns in the operation of his business. They had indicated to that person that that person needs to move because of these two concerns. Our personnel had spoken to him; they had asked him to relocate to another area and they had asked him to put in place certain measures to ensure that his business comports to the basic level of health and safety that accords for all other businesses. And I’m told that they are still ongoing in that process, but essentially what we are doing si trying to clean up the whole peddler issue in Belize City and particularly in that areas. we don’t want street side vendors; we don’t want people out there to be disrupting traffic. I mean the person si selling fried chicken; it si cooked food out in the open and you have smoke and everything. It is not a very safe and healthy situation. We are trying to deal with it; our personnel spoke to him, they dealt with it in the way that comports with the law. The law says that if persons are out there and they are not supposed to be out there, we have the power to relocate them. But again we realize that everybody needs to make a living and we don’t want to be very aggressive in our measures which is why we asked him to relocate to another place that we will provide. And did not work as well as we thought it would.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Darrell Bradley

“In contrast, there are other vendors who operate out of the Battlefield Park area and across Hofius as well as in front of the Belize Bank and this is on a nightly basis as well as on the weekends. How different is his case operating from where he is in comparison to where these other people are?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“Well one of the proposals to this gentleman is that he was asked if he wanted to be relocated to the Battlefield Park and they would have given him a stall and it is more conducive to the type of business that he would have operated. And it is still a high trafficked area. That area of Battlefield Park across from Brodies, a lot of people go there and so he still would have generated the amount of business. No person to my knowledge is at the area where he is purporting to vend or peddle. And people can’t be on the sidewalk because when they are on the sidewalk; especially if they are frying food, you are disrupting traffic, it is not a very healthy environment; we don’t want that overall in terms of the planning scheme in the City. So we are trying to bring in place measures to try control how people vent in the streets so that it is at least sanitary and it at least respects other people who use the sidewalk.”

 

When we checked this evening, Ferguson was back at his stand on Albert Street.

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18 Responses for “Fried chicken vendor fights City Council as he is moved from Albert Street”

  1. not again says:

    Yea, faaaaaaar away from your 5 cents restaurant.

  2. Rod says:

    Sounds to me like Bradley wants to defend one of his friends let the man sell his chicken at least he making an honest living not like the contrabandistas Bradley and his family whownt to make money dishonestly why is the mayor or none of his family members who ere with him doing contraband not in jail why why not even charged with a crime. Looks like anyone in this gov. Can thief and kill without being arrested why is no one in jail. Find out channel 5. Ask the gov, why Bradley or none of his family is in jail for contraband.

  3. skully says:

    I agree. That hot grease is a disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or later there will be an accident. Have u ever seen hot grease explode. One bit of water and everyone within 15 feet will be scarred for life if not dead.

  4. justice says:

    MY GOD THIS IS THE WORST MAYOR I EVER SEE NOT EVEN CYRIL DAVIS , MAYOR MOYA , MARSHALL NUNEZ, AND IT GOES ON HAVE EVER BEEN ATTACKING THE LITLE SMALL HANDS TRYING TO MAKE AN HONEST LIVING. FIRST IT WAS DJ TAMBRAN NOW MR FERGUSON AND HIS FRIED CHICHEN WHICH IS MUCH HEALTHIER THAN THE CHINESE CHICKEN WHICH ARE KEPT OVER NIGHT IN THE FREEZER ALREADY FRIED. MAYOR MOYA USE TO LET THE LITTLE POOR MAN EAT NO MATTER WHAT.I AM A DIE HARD UDP BUT IF THIS IS WHAT MY PARTY WILL KEEP ON HITTING THE LITTLE MAN I RATHER NOT VOTE FOR DARREL AGAIN, MINISTER EDMUND CASTRO WAS WORKING AND PHILLIP WILLOUGHBY FOR DICKIE BRADLEY UNDER THE P.U.P. IN POWER AND THE WASNT TREATED LIKE MR MAYOR BRADLEY IS DOING ,STOP BRINGINGING DOWN OUR PARTY DARREL,GOD IS MY JUDGE MR DARREL BRADLEY CANNOT WIN BACK TO BACK LIKE MS MOYA,SHE WAS FIESTY BUT WAS A LISTENER.DARREL BRADLEY IS EMBARASSING DEAN BARROW, DO U THINK MR FINNEGAN WOULD COME AT ANY ONE FOR SELLING FRIED CHICKEN HONESTLY, NEVER.

  5. Coralblack says:

    Their is a proverbs that says. Better is the little that the poor man have, than the many riches
    of the wicked. Don’t worry uuh nuh oppressors of the poor, every dog got it’s day. Power
    to the People

  6. Storm says:

    Regulate for health and safety, but do it equally, apply the regulations to all the vendors. I suspect there is an element of one business trying to suppress competition behind this incident.

    But it brings to the front another issue, and I wish we had one or two groups or lawyers who care about civil liberties to change the law.

    We are supposed to have “free speech” in the Jewel. Why can you be put in jail for insulting someone? Some people deserve insult, and when critical words are directed toward public employees, that is essential to protecting democracy. If we cannot criticize government, we cannot truly call ourselves democratic.

    I oppose profanity around children, challenging someone to fight, or words to carry out another crime, but not “insults” with nothing more. Public workers need to have thicker skins than that.

    Why, I have even heard that some people on this very blog occasionally insult public officials — should they all be in jail, too?

  7. deedee says:

    I have to admit that the spot where Pauly is selling his chicken is somewhat a bad area at least when it comes to pedestrians. The area is always crowded & you have to be manoeuvring yourself through them. Apart from that does he have a food handlers certificate, as we all know when your selling food to the public this certificate is a must, I pass there almost everyday coming from work & I don’t see it, if he indeed has the certificate it needs to be put on display showing people that he has been Ok’d by the health department.

  8. Friendly Fire says:

    .Why the heck is this man frying chicken on the sidewalk? I have to agree with the mayor on this one. This is not quite the type of business that you want at the center of the city in the open for various obvious reasons. Has the health inspector been out to assess this operation? I understand that this man probably has responsibilities, but this is not the way. Can’t city council find space in the Commercial center for him to be able to operate safely? How do you fry chicken on a sidewalk safely and healthily with all these people walking by and cars passing, and fryer burning? As a people we need to have certain order in our city as things will eventually deteriorate further if everyone is allowed to do as they please. Perhaps I should open up a butcher shop in front of Angelus Press

  9. twosweetinez says:

    Typical Belizean mentality they always think their above the laws.Good job Bradley our people are afraid of changes and are so used to the Belizean way of doing things.

  10. Gordon Smith says:

    I bet if he was a UDP supporter in good standing he would have been left alone. This gentleman is a known PUP supporter that is why he is being harassed. Straight up!

  11. Gordon Smith says:

    The primary purpose of any UDP government, whether national or municipal is to stifle and suffocate known PUP businesses and individuals in any way they can. These people always rule with hate and victimization towards their political opponents. This type of governing is wrong, backwards and is detrimental to national development. The UDP needs to take the hate out of their eyes and begin to govern on behalf of ALL Belizeans red or blue. Stop hating and victimizing and begin to govern!

  12. ceo says:

    Ok then if the area is not a good area (and I agree): too much foot traffic close to the hot greese!

    But then arest the man for his violation and not for Insulting Words. This makes the cops look bad again!

  13. Hi5 says:

    @ friendly fire, 100% agree.

  14. Toth says:

    How do you drive a car safely without breathing toxic fumes. Anyway
    Politician are the ones who don’t have respect for laws.This man is the brother of the manager of
    a Waste Control that the city keep having problems with for payment.Sound like yoh caant catch
    harry you catch his shirt.

  15. kebya says:

    We going to vote this mayor out of power next election.

  16. Ixchel Pop says:

    You know Darrel is a windbag and comes across an entitled spoil brat making allowances for a bigger fish, while at the same time pushing the small man out of the way. For all the pontification and gibbering that he does, he reveals what he thinks of the poor struggling black people. I am glad that this news channel does a transcript because people words are preserved for posterity. Today I saw Finegan reveal the soul of the party while telling us what he believes about the Police Force….that made my day!

    We have a saying in Belize that God nuh like ugly….and this is a case where Bradley, through is gift of gab, tries to obfuscate an issues that wrongs a poor hard working Belizean. This gentleman should be the man of the year because he has carved out a niche market for himself while simultaneously creating employment for some other Belizeans. What Bradley is doing is so wrong, and he will not get away with it. Don’t oppress poor people, be disingenuous about it and think that we too fool to know what is going on.

    I support Mr Ferguson 100%, i love his fry chicken immensely and will continue to buy from him. All the way news 5 for taking on this story and exposing some of the hypocrisy in the system

  17. Jones says:

    Best Mayor Belize City ever had.

  18. justice says:

    friendly fire need a pad over his mouth, he is so bias, go attack the killers and robber”s.

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