A crafts exchange event was held once again in Sham Shui Po on Sunday attracting the interest of government hawker control officers. Around ten officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department – which is responsible for managing street hawking activities – were on guard, urging organisers to pack up and leave, though they did not take any action.
Tai Nam Street Stalls was held as part of the self-organised Sham Shui Po Art Tours, who have been promoting cultural hotspots in the district since August 2014. The stalls were erected around Tai Nam Street and Shek Kip Mei Street, which are popular areas for weekend street vendors selling designer goods, antiques and artworks.
One of the street vendors, who gave his name as Ben, told Apple Daily that he was going to open a bookstore, hence he brought a few bags of books to the streets in order to support the event and cover his transportation costs.
He said he packed up for a few moments when the officers arrived, but opened again later.
A shopper, Miss Lau, said she learned about the event online and that she agreed with its aims. She told the newspaper that she thought the organisers had communicated with the government, and hoped such events would be approved.
Agent of world’s freest economy tells girl she’s not free to sell crafts here. @StartmeupHK pic.twitter.com/Ix4zj7ALMN
— Larry Salibra (@larrysalibra) January 31, 2016
Sham Shui Po district councillor Tam Kwok-kiu told Apple Daily that the event did not cause any public health issues and, thus, the government should treat it lightly.
He said that Sham Shui Po is an old district filled with street vendors, that such events make the district more attractive and open up more methods for people to sell their creative goods. Tam suggested that the government should arrange a venue for the event to be held in the future so that vendors need not worry about the presence of hygiene officers.