Street Vendors win appeal over revoked street licenses in São Paulo – Brazil

3 July 2012

Last Wednesday, June 27, the special body of the São Paulo Justice Court, comprising of 25 judges, overturned the injunction of the president of the court, Judge Ivan Sartori, who had revoked all the street vending licenses of São Paulo city, arguing that the street vendors represent a threat to the public order.

The event was the conclusion of a history that starts long way back. The current mayor of São Paulo, since the beginning of his mandate has repealed all the 2200 licenses that existed in the municipality (in the previous administration the number went from 15000 to 2200). With the elections approaching, he decided in the beginning of May to repeal all the licenses remaining. The Gaspar Garcia Human Rights Centre with the public defender Bruno Miragaia filed a public civil action against the decision. The civil action was accepted by the court, and then the president of the court interfered with an injunction forbidding the vendors to return to work.

The Gaspar Garcia and the public defender appealed the decision last Wednesday, the appeal was judged and the decision was favourable. According to the public defender Bruno Miragaia, the action taken by the judges restores the rule of law in the city.

The trial has mobilised hundreds of vendors – many of them disabled – from all regions of São Paulo, them stood vigil in front of the Court, in the centre of the city. According to those present, described being overwhelmed when the decision was announced. Over thousand vendors celebrated by singing the national anthem, crying, speaking words about the people power and hugging each other.

The lawyer from Gapar Garcia Centre, Juliana Avanci said that the decision shows that the judiciary power understood that is necessary to interfere in policies from the executive power that threaten the rights of the workers and dwellers of the city