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Cereal cafe owned by Belfast twins attacked by London anti-gentrification protesters

Published 27/09/2015

Brothers Alan and Gary Keery, owners of Cereal Killers cafe in London.
Brothers Alan and Gary Keery, owners of Cereal Killers cafe in London.
The Cereal Killer cafe in London which was attacked by anti-gentrification demonstators. Pic: @CerealKillerUK
The Cereal Killer cafe in London which was taacked by anti-gentrification demonstators. Pic: @CerealKillerUK

The Belfast owners of a cereal café in London have had their business attacked by anti-gentrification demonstrators.

Alan and Gary Keery opened the Cereal Killer cafe in Shoreditch, east London, last year.

On Friday evening the premises was pelted with cereal and paint during an angry protest.

Despite the damage, the cafe was open for business as usual on Sunday.

"Tonight we were attacked with paint and fire by an angry mob of 200. Riot police are on the scene," wrote the owners on Twitter.

"We started a business to deliver an experience to cereal lovers, and have been thanked by local businesses for bringing tourists to the area."

They added: "The mob won't win, wearing masks with pitch forks and torches, it's 2015."

One person has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, Scotland Yard said.

An officer suffered a minor injury to his face as a result of a thrown bottle.

Police said officers dealt with disorder arising from a pre-planned event in the Shoreditch area.

The Met said that from around 8pm, a criminal element within a group of several hundred people threw missiles and caused criminal damage to shops and other businesses in and around Brick Lane.

The group continued to move around the Shoreditch and Brick Lane area until around 12.30am.

Alan Keery told the London Evening Standard: “There were children there – they were terrified,” he said. “The staff were absolutely terrified. It was an angry mob throwing paint at the windows. They had torches and pigs’ heads.

“There were people shouting about gentrification and taking back east London.

“They’d brought cereal and they were throwing it at the shop.”

He added: “I think it’s an absolute joke, a bunch of people attacking us. We’re a small business. There’s other big chain places around Shoreditch – me and my brother started a business out of absolutely nothing and we’re trying to grow it.

“We’re being targeted as the poster boys of gentrification and that’s not our fault.”

The café caused controversy when it opened after a Channel 4 interviewer queried if its prices were too high.

Gary Keery cut the interview short before posting a Facebook post about the line of questioning.

“You obviously don't understand business if you think I don't have to put a mark-up on what I sell,” he said in the post on the cafe’s Facebook page. “It may be the poorest borough in London but let's not forget Canary Wharf is also in this borough but I am the one to blame eh?”

Further reading:

Cereal Killer Cafe: Belfast brothers open UK's first ever cafe selling nothing but cereal

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