'Our communities are being ripped apart'
Protesters vandalised an east London cafe that sells cereal on Saturday night in the latest flashpoint in the city's ongoing debate over gentrification.
The protesters daubed the word 'scum' on the shop window of Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch and set fire to an effigy of a police officer.
Riot police were called after the cafe was targeted by a large crowd of anti-gentrification activists carrying pigs' heads and torches, reports The Guardian.
The owners of the cafe, which has been seen by some as a symbol of inequality in east London, said on Sunday that the attack left customers including children "terrified for their lives".
Gary Keery, 33, who founded the cafe with his twin brother, Alan, said: "It's senseless violence, isn't it? We've had some letters through the letterbox saying 'die hipsters' and stuff but nothing to this extreme. It just doesn't make sense."
The Metropolitan police said one of their officers had suffered an injury to his face as a result of a bottle thrown during the disorder, caused by a "criminal element within a group of several hundred people" who had thrown missiles and attacked shops on Brick Lane.
One protester who was at the demonstration said the Cereal Killer Cafe was targeted as a "symbol of gentrification", although he said a nearby estate agent, Marsh & Parsons, was also attacked.
The cafe, which opened in December, was open as usual on Sunday morning, with queues of customers paying up to £4.40 for a bowl of cereal.
The protest was advertised on Facebook and was apparently organised by the anarchist group Class War. The event page stated: "Our communities are being ripped apart – by Russian oligarchs, Saudi sheiks, Israeli scumbag property developers, Texan oil-money twats and our own home-grown Eton toffs. Local authorities are coining it in, in a short-sighted race for cash by 'regenerating' social housing."