You are here

Street vendors clash with security forces over Abdali market move

By Muath Freij - Oct 11,2014 - Last updated at Oct 11,2014

AMMAN — Around 100 street vendors clashed with anti-riot personnel personnel at Hashemite Square in downtown Amman on Saturday in protest against a decision to move the Abdali Friday market to Ras Al Ain, the Public Security Department (PSD) said.   

PSD Spokesperson Maj. Amer Sartawi said a number of protesters threw Molotov cocktails at gendarmes, prompting security personnel to use tear gas to disperse them.

The riots were a continuation of protests that began on Friday, when the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) began removing street stalls from Abdali to turn the area where the weekly flea market has been held into a parking lot.

Seven street vendors were arrested on Friday when several merchants refused to vacate the area, Ahmad Ebbini, director of the concerned GAM department, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Saturday. 

Friday was the deadline set by the municipality for vendors to remove their stalls and move to the new location in the Ras Al Ain area, which was supposed to officially open on Friday. 

“Gendarmerie forces used tear gas to disperse protesters,” Ebbini said. 

Maher Roqaia, a street vendor who was still protesting on Saturday at Hashemite Square said protesters want GAM to go back on its decision to move the market and allow traders to return to Abdali.

Roqaia also expressed his anger over the way the municipality removed vendors’ stalls using bulldozers, urging authorities to release detained traders. 

He said protesters plan to continue their sit-in until their demands are met. 

On Saturday, GAM teams were working to clean the old location of the market, according to Ebbini. 

“This week, vendors will start displaying their goods at the new venue,” he added.

Stall owners and customers interviewed by The Jordan Times recently expressed their disappointment over the decision to move the market to Ras Al Ain.

Vendors were concerned that their business would be negatively affected because the new location might not accommodate all traders, claiming that customers might not feel comfortable at the new venue, which they said does not have enough parking spaces. 

GAM has said the step was taken to alleviate traffic jams and safeguard public health in Abdali. 

The new location, which extends over eight dunums, includes medical facilities and parking spaces, according to GAM.

1 user has voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.