Anti-gentrification protesters encircled a hipster cafe in Shoreditch, in a “terrifying” ordeal, according to the owners.
Protesters managed to break into the Cereal Killer Cafe and threw a smoke bomb and furniture inside the doorway. Other masked figures threw red paint and cereal at the shop windows.
The cafe, which offers rare and luxury cereals for £4.50 a bowl, was targeted by activists wearing pig masks and carrying flaming torches on Saturday (September 26). They daubed the word “scum” on the building in Brick Lane.
Children were in the cafe and staff and customers were left shaken, but unharmed, after the “angry mob of 200” circled. One person was arrested for criminal damage and an officer was hurt by a thrown bottle.
Co-owner Alan Keery, 33, said it was just a small business, adding: “It’s bullying at its best,” he said. “We started a business to deliver an experience to cereal lovers, and have been thanked by local businesses for bringing tourists to the area.
“The mob won’t win, wearing masks with pitchforks and torches, it’s 2015. We’re an independent business, we’ve got two shops, we’ve only been open months."
The “mob” was a spin-off from a pre-planned event by Class War in Shoreditch which attacked the cafe and other businesses, including estate agent Marsh & Parsons, at around 8pm. They finally dispersed just past midnight.
Artist Esther Planas Balduz, 55, attended the event. She told The Guardian : “I’ve lived in Shoreditch for 17 years and it’s appalling what’s been going on. Its our fault, artists like me go to these kind of areas, then the architects follow, the developers, the hipsters etc. The problem is social cleansing. There are no protections for us. The law does not protect us, only the greedy landowners.”