Flea Market vendors on hunger strike ahead of San Jose City Council rezoning plan vote

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021
SJ flea market vendors on hunger strike ahead of rezoning plan vote
A group of Berryessa Flea Market vendors have set up a tent outside San Jose City Hall on an indefinite hunger strike to protest a City Council vote to redevelop much of the space.

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- In the ultimate sign of protest, a group of three vendors at the Berryessa Flea Market have gone on an indefinite hunger strike in an effort to save the area.

They have set up a tent outside of San Jose's City Hall where other vendors are rallying to support their mission.

It's in advance of a Tuesday vote before the City Council, expected to vote on a re-zoning plan that would eliminate a majority of the market to make way for a new development. The vendors on strike have called for the vote to be delayed to allow more time for negotiations over the future of the market.

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"Every single council member knows someone who works there, lives there, make a living there." said Roberto Gonzalez, president of the Berryessa Flea Market Vendors Association and an East San Jose native. "It's their responsibility to watch out for their constituents and we're very hopeful that they'll vote with that in mind."

The property owners have promised to give vendors a one year notice before they expect to leave, and pledged $2.5 million for relocation costs.