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The Right to Vend
Producer: Third World Newsreel Workshop
10 minutes
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The Right to Vend

There are as many as 20,000 street vendors in New York City including hot dog vendors, flower vendors, t-shirt vendors, street artists, food trucks and many others. This short documents the inspirations and struggles of being a street vendor in New York, how obsolete city regulations stand in the way, and the vendors’ efforts to organize through the Street Vendor Project. A TWN Production Workshop production with the cooperation of The Street Vendor Project.
Available for free viewing on Vimeo ( and Youtube (

Visit Street Vendor Project to support the group:
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“The Right to Vend is a brief ten minute introduction into the bureaucratic challenges that confront street food vendors in New York City. What results is a David versus Goliath narrative, pitting entrepreneurs versus government regulation. The monopoly on vendor licenses and the arbitrary enforcement of the permit policy by officials are explored... The Right to Vend is a worthwhile conversation piece for classes covering entrepreneurship.” - Andrew Koval, Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)
"This short documentary offers anoverview of some of the challenges facing street vendors in New York City, where as many as 20,000 sell food and merchandise from pushcarts, street stalls, and food trucks." - P. Hall, Video Librarian
"Right to Vend offers a useful window to teach about labor issues, small business issues, urban planning, and how to set up pedestrian-friendly cities. It also links to environmental issues, as reflected in activists urging that the city promote solar-powered carts to replace the propane-driven ones that are currently dominant." - Stephanie Luce, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Films for the Feminist Classroom
• Short Docs Web Series, CUNY-TV

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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.