Besides, I guess these greedy vendors hawking vegetables are part of the evil 1%.
The Occupy movement came to Los Angeles aiming for Wall Street titans, but farmers market vendors are the first to take a real hit.In other words, screw them. It's all about us!
Two weeks ago, about 40 vendors who sell on the City Hall lawn every Thursday were forced off the property after protesters refused to remove their city of tents.
The mini-businesses — produce farmers, popcorn poppers, flower sellers — were abruptly moved by city officials to a new and less visible location across Main Street. Since that relocation, profits have plummeted, vendors have pulled out and shoppers have become scarce.
"The cause is good," said Genaro Lopez, a vendor who initially helped protesters with free sodas and burritos. "But this is our bread and butter, and we've taken a huge hit."
Many vendors, who already struggle to make it through the slow winter months, have reported a 40% to 60% drop in sales since the move, said market manager Susan Hutchinson. So far, three have decided to quit showing up until the demonstrators are gone.
The irony is not lost on Occupy L.A. protesters.
"Here we are representing the 99%," said Martine Fennelly, an activist. "And the farmers are the first to suffer from the movement."
Still, Fennelly said, protesters are choosing to stay put, because "an occupation means an occupation, not a three-week camp-out."
Until then, Jorge Zaragosa plans to steer clear of the market. For six years, he had traveled 60 miles from Oxnard to sell his fruit and produce. The second week of the protest, he went home with only $180 and a truck full of strawberries, broccoli and other goods. That's when he decided to bow out.The poor bastard is trying to make a living, but instead will be driven into poverty by the schmucks.
"I have a lot of expenses," Zaragosa said. "I don't have time to go there and gamble."