On Saturday night, Shoreditch’s Cereal Killer Café was vandalised by Class War’s ‘F**k Parade’ in an anti-gentrification protest. The shop, which serves £3 bowls of cereal, has been criticised for contributing to gentrification in the area since its opening in December 2014. Following the recent event, EastLondonLines speaks with local residents and visitors about gentrification in Shoreditch and its effect on local businesses.
Barry and Ann Thomas, in their fifties, from the Barbican:
“We heard about it and came here to support the café. We think the protests are counter-productive. We’re welcome to their points of view, but to express it in that way is extremely inappropriate. The attention to the café is probably helpful to the local business. Any extra attention to the area would be beneficial. ”
Sebastian Itachi, 26, from Mile End:
“These are two guys who had the courage to start a business and I feel like they’ve gotten the brunt of the attack. The businesses are the victims because they are run by the local community. I think to attack small business is cowardly because they’re the ones paying. We are in a crisis at the minute because there really isn’t affordable housing anymore, and I think it’s wherever you are, across the board. The irony is that it’s really hard to argue whether gentrification is a bad thing or a good thing. It’s always a paradox with gentrification. It’s bad because it pushes people out, but it’s good because it brings new things in. You will always have a clash between the rich and the poor. I guess the solution is to have more affordable housing and that’s one thing the government has failed to do, and that needs to be addressed more with policies.”
Mustaq Ahmed, 62, from Shoreditch:
“Different people have come to this area: Spanish, Turkish, locals. Over the years, I think businesses have done well.”
– Claudia Decarli and Micah Jodhan