Editorial: Evict the Siam Square Street Vendors

In the past week, there has been a rash of protests by illegal street vendors over their eviction from the Siam Square area. Published simu...

In the past week, there has been a rash of protests by illegal street vendors over their eviction from the Siam Square area. Published simultaneously in the Bangkok Post and The Nation on March 3, 2011, my article supports the moves of Chulalongkorn University and explains why the street vendors have gone too far.

By Karn G. Bulsuk


Why is it that the Siam street vendors seem to think that by virtue of having sold their goods on the street in front of Siam, they suddenly have an inalienable claim to the space?

There is nothing difficult about the situation: their occupation is illegal and a nuisance to the thousands of pedestrians trying to walk on the pavement. Street vendors may have a right to make a living, but not when the rights of others, including the right to walk unharassed, are impaired.

If the new proposed location in Siam Square Soi 6 is truly unsuitable, the street vendors should be working with Chulalongkorn management to improve the space. Street vendors should not have any additional rights or privileges over others, especially because they do not pay rent and occupy prime real estate, thus having an unfair advantage over other legitimate shops in the area.

I call on Chulalongkorn University and the BMA to take quick and decisive action to permanently evict the street vendors. It will send a strong message and set a precedence that illegal street hawking on private land will no longer be tolerated. They should use all means necessary to bring order to the sidewalks, and return them to their true owners: the pedestrian.


Photo credit: maciek zygmunt

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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Editorial: Evict the Siam Square Street Vendors
Editorial: Evict the Siam Square Street Vendors
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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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