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SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A pair of Southland street cart vendors who were forced to shut down their businesses after “Occupy” protesters vandalized their carts are hoping to get some help from local residents.
KNX 1070?s Tom Reopelle reports a fundraiser in the Gas Lamp district in San Diego on Monday night [11-7] is aimed at helping two vendors get back on their feet.
That group first settled in to the plaza Oct. 7 and set up a tent city which has since twice been taken down by police.
Coffee cart owner Linda Jenson and hot dog cart operators Letty and Pete Soto said they initially provided free food and drink to demonstrators, but when they stopped, the protesters became violent.
And according to one city councilman, bodily fluids were used in the attacks.
“Both carts have had items stolen, have had their covers vandalized with markings and graffiti, as well as one of the carts had urine and blood splattered on it,” said Councilman Carl DeMaio.
The damages will likely require at least a complete cleaning if not a replacement of the cart covers, DeMaio said.
In addition to the attacks, the vendors also said they recently received death threats.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly to help the two business owners.
KPBS reports that help is coming from the city “in various forms”
Now help from the city is arriving in various forms. But with the economy hurting a lot of businesses why should San Diego single out these two? Mayoral Spokeswoman Rachel Laing said, in the case of the coffee cart, it’s about upholding a contract.
“This woman was actually a tenant of the city in Civic Center Plaza,” she said. “And we have certain obligations that we have to meet, according to our lease contract with her.”
Laing said the city will waive the coffee cart’s rent for as long as it stays closed. She said, the city has been working hard to balance business interests, free speech and public safety in the plaza.
Councilman Carl DeMaio disagrees. DeMaio, who’s running for Mayor, is organizing a fundraiser for both business owners tonight. In a statement he said protestors have created an unsanitary and threatening environment at the Civic Center.
“I believe the City should have acted sooner to restore law and order at the Civic Center,” DeMaio said in the statement
So tell me something – how is it actually helpful to the coffee cart vendor to have their rent waived if they can’t open for business to begin with?? Like so many other mayors in other “occupied” cities where anarchy is taking root, “internal” crime is rising, and suffering small businesses are being threatened and harassed, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is derelict in his duty to break up the occupy encampments to ensure public health/safety/resources are not further negatively impacted.
If you’d like to do what the City of San Diego WON’T and assist these vendors in getting back on their feet, here’s how you can help:
Please make checks payable to:
Centre City Coffee
The Office of Councilmember Carl DeMaio
The City of San Diego
202 C Street, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101