I despise breakfast cereal. As in: feel-it’s-an-affront-to-civilization, why-add-insult-to-the-injury-of-morning-existence despise. I can’t fathom why someone would devote an entire establishment to dispensing the sad stuff, still less why anyone would fork over upwards of five dollars for a “medium”-sized bowl of it.
But storming the place while carrying pigs’ heads and torches? That takes something more than an offended palate.
News of the mobbing on Saturday night of the Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch, in London’s East End—wherein demonstrators allegedly organized by an anarchist group hurled bottles, burned the effigy of a policeman, painted “scum” on a storefront window, and also smashed the window of a nearby real-estate office—has spread beyond the British media, being called an “anti-gentrification” protest or even an “anti-hipster” crusade. The Facebook description for the demonstration (or “street party,” as its organizers called it) puts it plainly: “We don’t want luxury flats that no one can afford, we want genuinely affordable housing. We don’t want pop-up gin bars or brioche buns—we want community.”
But why this particular establishment, and why now? And doesn’t this seem a little excessive, even for anti-hipster sentiment? After all, according to one of Cereal Killer’s owners, there were children in the cafe at the time it was attacked. Adding to the confusion, The Times of London is reporting that the mob was led not by low-income Londoners being forced out of their traditional neighborhoods, but rather by “middle-class academics.”