You probably heard that the cereal cafe in Shoreditch was targeted by violent protestors over the weekend, but until now the exact reasoning behind this hadn’t been explained. The protesters said they were unhappy about the gentrification of the area, but they were then widely criticised for picketing an independent business in the area.
Speaking to the Metro, one of the organisers of the protest from Fuck Parade had the following to say about it:
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We’re not responsible for the actions of people that come on our protests.
This wasn’t planned as a violent demonstration, but at the same time I’m not going to tell people how they should or shouldn’t express their anger.
There’s a lot of high feeling about this at the moment.
I don’t think it’s exclusively about the price of a bowl of cereal there, I think it’s more a case of new culture that’s being imposed on parts of east London.
It’s a traditional, immigrant working class area since the Huguenots in the 1600s and right through to the Bengalis and Somalians in the area now.
Instead, we’re having this — and I hate to use this word — hipster culture that’s being imposed on us. It’s suddenly been decided that our poverty, our deprivation is somehow edgy and cool.
It’s quite insulting to open a shop selling things that local people can’t afford in such a gimmicky fashion, and sit there expecting people to think it’s ok.
It’s regrettable that local people have felt so excluded and so utterly without a voice that they felt the only thing necessary was to come on a march and demonstrate using violence.
Over 1,000 people come on a march and all the media can focus on is a bit of paint being chucked by three, maybe four people.
Maybe we need to focus on the high level of violence that was experienced from the police throughout the demonstration.
There’s shocking online footage of an officer slamming a young girl of about 16 or 17 to the ground and then dragging her around, but nobody’s bothered to mention that.
People have been going on our social media sites and wishing death on us, wishing we get cancer, wishing we get AIDS because of the actions of the people who come on our protest.
The fact is there is no social housing. All our estates are being demolished and all our homes are being sold off under right to buy schemes and not being replaced.
We need social housing. People need houses, people need jobs, people need a community.
It has to change.
Well to be fair to the guy he has got a point about gentrification in the area – I went out in Bethnal Green last night and every time I do the amount of hipster pubs creeping down the street and edging out the traditional East End boozers gets higher and higher – and it probably is driving the local community that once resided there out and it must completely suck for them. However, the bottom line is that money talks and if someone thinks that the place where they’re going to make the most money operating is East London then that’s where they’re going to head. That’s how it’s been for the last few years and how it’s going to be for the foreseeable future I imagine.
I’m really not sure how the problem can be solved for the people that it’s affecting. I would recommend that the people who hate it so much cut their losses and get the hell out of there, although I realise that it isn’t that simple as a lot of them don’t have any money from the sound of things. I don’t think targeting cereal cafes is really going to help anything though – they’re just a couple of guys trying to make a buck and it seems like it’s remarkably successful whenever I walk past it.
I hope those affected by gentrification manage to figure out a non-violent solution to their problems though, because we don’t want East London to end up looking like Frankfurt during the recent Blockupy riot.