This Valentine’s Day, as we think of ways to impress our boos, Undocumedia wants us to also look out for our community’s most vulnerable. On Tuesday, Iván Ceja – Undocumedia’s founder – sent a tweet asking people to keep their eyes peeled for police officers ticketing street vendors. “If you see a street vendor being harassed on #ValentinesDay for selling flowers, use your phone and record to upload using the hashtag #LegalizeStreetVending,” he wrote. “If they are ticketed, then get their name, contact number, and send me a message so that we may help pay their fines.”
Ceja, an advocate for the undocumented community, wanted to find a way to make online social justice movements have real effects in people’s everyday lives. That’s why he’s encouraging people to use the hashtag to keep people from losing their day’s earnings on a fee.
“Hey, you’re all on social media already,” he tells me. “Why don’t you use the hashtag #LegalizeStreetVending when someone is harassed? You all know how to DM, so you can send me a message.”
After he receives messages, he will launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money, which will then go to the street vendors.
Though Ceja’s based in California, this initiative will cover street vendors across the United States. To make the process easier, he has created a Google Doc that asks for contact information of the street vendor and details about the incident. Fill out the application here, but you can also send Ceja a DM.