“It’s about people losing their homes after years and years of living in an area. Suddenly, rather than paying £400 a month, you’re being asked to pay £800 or leave because your area has suddenly become ‘hip’. That’s what gentrification is about.”
A group of roughly 1,000 protestors made headlines last weekend after they marched through east London, United Kingdom.
The group, who call themselves the “Fuck Parade”, gathered at the Ceral Killer Cafe, a cafe specialising in selling cereal from around the world. The Fuck Parade surrounded the cafe in Brick Lane wearing pig masks and carrying sticks of fire, before proceeding to throw paint at the windows and writing the word “scum” on their wall.
The group claim that the cereal cafe is the cause of gentrification in the area and blame them for rising prices, which is forcing a lot of people out of Shoreditch.
While some have sympathised with their message against expensive cafes and businesses driving up the prices in the area, many have branded the Fuck Parade’s actions as “aggressive” and have distanced themselves from the group.
The IPF decided to go behind the headlines and speak to a group of young people who live in Brick Lane about the protests and how gentrification is affecting their lives as residents of East London.
“If there’s demand for it, then good on you, you’ve made a good investment,” said one young woman, who defended the cereal cafe’s right to exist. However, her flatmate pointed out that while the cafe doesn’t affect them directly, the demand for it does have an impact on those in the area.
“I can imagine if you’ve been living somewhere for generations, and then we contribute to the rising prices, and suddenly there’s a woman with her elderly mother and her seven-year-old who all have to move because… we bought cereal.”