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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Anti-gentrification activists already shut down a gallery in Boyle Heights. Now, their target is a coffee shop

July 19, 2017 06:00PM

An art gallery in Boyle Heights (credit: Self Help Graphics and Art)

A hot cuppa joe doesn’t solve everything, it seems.

A coffee shop in Boyle Heights is the latest target of local housing activists, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Protesters have persistently gathered outside of Weird Wave Coffee on Cesar Chavez Avenue, which opened last month, holding posters that read “Fuck White Coffee” and “AmeriKKKano to go.”

The store owners weren’t the only ones peeved. Some residents told the Times they were unsure of the connection between displacing tenants and one particular cafe.

“The way they handle the situation of gentrification wasn’t appropriate,” said resident Koda Torres. “They were almost vandalizing their windows, harassing the customers, and calling people sellouts and racists.”

But the anti-gentrification demonstrators argue that it’s not about the business, it’s about the consequences for the neighborhood.

“It doesn’t matter how good of a cup of coffee it is, it doesn’t matter the good intentions the owners of the business have,” said Leonardo Vilchis, director of Union de Vecinos. “It’s about the effect that the coffee shop has on the local neighborhood. It’s not about taste, it’s about effect.”

Weird Wave Coffee isn’t the first storefront to be the object of protest for anti-gentrification protesters. They’ve targeted art galleries, forcing one to close earlier this year. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen