Booksellers React at Having to Move from Port-of-Spain’s Woodford Square

Woodford Square is situated in the heart of Port-of-Spain and surrounded by impressive buildings such as Trinity Cathedral, the Town Hall, the Public Library, the Hall of Justice, the Red House, and the Greyfriars Presbyterian Church.

Saying that Woodford Square is not a place to sell books, Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing ordered booksellers off the square by October 2. See Trinidad and Tobago Guardian article below:

Woodford Square booksellers are protesting Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing’s decision to remove them from the square. Speaking on behalf of the booksellers, vice president of the Second Hand Booksellers Association, Kathleen Humphrey, said the ten booksellers who sell in the square were demanding that Lee Sing provide an explanation as to why he had ordered them to vacate the square.

Humphrey, who had been selling there since 1995, said early last week two city police officers told them they had to leave the square by Saturday, October 2. She said when they asked the police why they had to move, the police said they were simply acting on the orders given by Lee Sing.

Humphrey said the booksellers visited Lee Sing at his City Hall office, Port-of-Spain, to get an answer as to why they were being removed and to where they would be moved. She said: “It is unfair; we are working for honest bread. We have been here for 15 years. Former mayor John Rahael helped us set up our trade. We have passed through two mayors and we were never asked to leave.” She said the booksellers had long serviced the people and students of Port-of-Spain by providing reasonable priced second-hand books, especially textbooks. Humphrey said Woodford Square booksellers were demanding Lee Sing give them a solid explanation as to why they were being asked to leave their place of business.

Lee Sing responds
Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing said Woodford Square is not a place to sell books. Lee Sing said he was reclaiming Woodford Square “as a green space and the square was no place for vendors.”

For original article, see http://guardian.co.tt/news/general/2010/10/02/booksellers-read-riot-act-over-plan-move-them-square

2 thoughts on “Booksellers React at Having to Move from Port-of-Spain’s Woodford Square

  1. Woodford square is a beautiful area and as such it should be made more green with some park benches, trees, flowers and freshly laid lawn.
    This is an excellent way to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors as workers and shoppers can have lunch in the square and soak in some vitamin D.
    I think it is too beautiful a place for commercial usage – just because these booksellers have been selling their books for 15+ years at the square doesn’t make it right nor acceptable.

  2. If booksellers are making an honest living, they should be able to rent a store or kiosk in order to sell the books and not set up their so called business in a square.

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