Final Four: Atlanta street vendors not cheering - CBS46 News

Final Four: Atlanta street vendors not cheering

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Atlanta started enforcing its new no street vending ordinance in recent days.

Now the out-of-work vendors are trying to make their voices heard.

About a dozen street vendors, most of them out of work, rallied in the shadows of the Georgia Dome early Saturday evening.

At the same time, thousands of NCAA fans made their way inside the dome for the Final Four.

The vendors told CBS Atlanta News that they see the basketball fans coming and going as dollars lost.

"We got vendors that have been here 30 years, " shouted one protestor.

The new city ordinance prohibits the sale or display of goods on city sidewalks.

Street vendor Larry Miller is the president of the Atlanta Vendors Association.

"That took a lot of money out of our pockets at the end of the month," said Miller.

Miller said despite having won an injunction against the city, an Atlanta police officer shut him down earlier this week on Braves opening day.

"He said that injunction is no good because we did not renew our license. 'And you can take it up with the law department. But you are not going to be able to vend here,'" said Miller.

The group said the new city ordinance discriminates against minorities and veterans. Now they have the ear and support of the NAACP.

"When to take away the rights from them to be able to feed their families, to live in a decent manor, then I believe it means there is a problem here," said Quincy Harris with the NAACP.

While some of protesting vendors are out of work, Miller was able to secure a vending site. It was up and running Saturday on private property just outside of Turner Field.

It cost more to operate since Miller has to pay rent to the property owner on top of taxes to the city.

Miller told CBS Atlanta News most street vendors just don't have the money, so he's rallying to help support them.

"I'm so passionate about it because I want for my brother what I want for myself," said Miller.

The vendors plan to keep fighting until the city hears them.

In an earlier statement to CBS Atlanta News, the city indicated that it is reviewing the street vendor laws with other cities to try to figure out what will be best for Atlanta.

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