The anti-gentrification protesters who attacked the Cereal Cafe in East London over the weekend have spoken out about the incident.
The group, elegantly named Fuck Parade, have insisted they didn’t mean for the protest to get violent, and said they couldn’t control the actions of everyone who came on the demonstration.
The Cereal Killer Cafe on Brick Lane was attacked while staff and customers were still inside, with protesters covering it in paint and writing ‘scum’ on the window.
Cereal cafe. £5 for cereal when people are starving. Fuck gentrification. pic.twitter.com/3mVmHFnOAT
— The Fuck Brigade (@FuckParadeLDN) September 26, 2015
A Fuck Parade insider told Metro.co.uk:
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.
They went on to defend targeting the cereal cafe:
I don’t think it’s exclusively about the price, 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.
The Fuck Parade spokesperson went on to say the actions of the police should also be taken into account, with officers reportedly getting violent:
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.
Despite the controversy the group has attracted, they still maintain they have good intentions at heart, and are just trying to highlight the plight of a forgotten community in East London who are being priced out of their homes by gentrification, The Metro reports.
And who can argue with that message.