Protesters continue cafe battle

More protesters have occupied a cafe to save it from demolition, less than a week after others were evicted.


Police and sheriff’s officers moved in to remove them from Tony’s Cafe in Broadway Market, Hackney, last Wednesday after a four-week occupation.

On Boxing Day more protesters occupied the cafe, in the fight against what they call the area’s gentrification.

Spokesman Arthur Shuter said they were now freezing in the half-demolished building, but they would remain.

He said there was no longer any water or gas and many of the fittings had been removed and the roof had been destroyed.

But he told BBC London: “We have to maintain occupation of the building, we have no choice.

“Now that we have done it we can’t go home at night, because when we come back in the morning, the building will be gone.”

He said protesters decided to re-occupy the popular cafe because what had happened was “so unfair” and a lot of people locally were against it.

Builders moved in to start knocking it down as soon as the last batch of protesters were removed.

The cafe is one of several buildings in the area due for demolition, but some residents say it is a local institution.

Hackney Council told BBC London that it had sold the property years ago, in line with government guidelines, to help clear its debts.