Black vendors outraged over Live 8 merchandising fees
Live 8: These are some greedy selfish morons.
|"About 40 African American men blocked traffic around City Hall for an hour yesterday to protest what they say is the Street administration's refusal to reduce the fees the city is charging vendors to sell incense, shirts and other wares at the Live 8 benefit concert for Africa on Saturday. It was the third protest this month in which the African-American Chamber of Commerce and affiliated groups have criticized the Street administration for what they call its lackluster effort to create opportunities for black business owners. Officials for Mayor Street, however, said yesterday that the administration is working diligently to increase opportunities for black businesses. "It's absolutely one of the top priorities of this mayor and this administration," said Joseph Grace, a spokesman for the mayor. Grace said the city expects to have at least 30 percent minority vendor participation at Live 8 and 50 percent participation by Philadelphia-based vendors. Regardless of participation, protesters said they are most concerned about the Street administration's decision to charge Live 8 vendors $750 to $1,500 each for the right to sell related merchandise. Anthony Fullard, the chamber's economic development director, said the groups want the city to charge black vendors $100 each and to allow about 40 black vendors to set up at JFK Plaza at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard for 75 days, starting this weekend. City officials say the Live 8 vendor fees are fair. "We don't think this is really an unreasonable fee," Grace said. The city, Grace added, also does not plan to allow the vendors to set up at JFK Plaza because it needs that space for crowd control during Live 8, which is expected to draw up to 1 million people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway."|