Anti-gentrification campaign brewing against Eastside coffee houses

After holding noisy protests outside Boyle Heights art galleries, anti-gentrification demonstrators are now targeting  another symbol of what they view as unwelcome change: the coffee house.

In Boyle Heights, protesters have been seen in recent days chanting and holding banners outside the new Weird Wave Coffee Shop on Cesar Chavez Avenue. Meanwhile, in Cypress Park, a poster reading “You are the reason my mother, brother and sisters were displaced three times in the last two years” was slapped on the window of the Antigua Coffee House on Figueroa Street.

“We know the political, economic consequences of businesses like Weird Waves — hipster coffee shops — moving into an area that is currently being gentrified,” said a demonstrator on a video posted on the Defend Boyle Heights Facebook page. “We all know that Boyle Heights is facing a massive amount of displacement and gentrification, and we see this as another aspect of the problem.”

Get #weirdwaves the fuck out of #BoyleHeights! If you are watching this COME DOWN AND SUPPORT THE BOYCOTT

Posted by Defend Boyle Heights on Saturday, June 17, 2017

In response, a green poster in the window of Weird Wave says it is owned by Latinos and is working with Homeboy Industries to “give back to the community.”

On Antigua Coffee’s Instagram, a comment apparently posted by owner Yancey Quinones defended his business and roots in the neighborhood:

“When my mother migrated to this country in 1965 from her War Torn country of Guatemala to settle in Cypress Park …. She worked as a maid, went to adult school to learn English met my Mexican father in class. They both worked heavy hours and were met with adversary! These #antigentrification folks are attacking the wrong people. Learn the neighborhood before you trash your own.”

Apparently the #antigentrification movement target our homegrown Latino business to blame us for their failures. I guess when my mother migrated to this country in 1965 from her War Torn country of Guatemala to settle in Cypress Park. She worked as a maid, went to adult school to learn English met my Mexican father in class. They both worked heavy hours and were met with adversary! These #antigentrification folks are attacking the wrong people. Learn the neighborhood before you trash your own. I grew up in Cypress Park when it was gang infested and the real violence was taking out our children, friends and family members. I did the right thing and respected my parents, community and leaders. I graduated from my local schools and attended a University. It was not easy as a brown kid to complete college but I took the long road, 6 years but I got the DAMN BA! I opened Antigua Coffee Roasters of Cypress Park 90065 in my BACKYARD! I employee locals! We also provide High Quality Products ( ?just in case you were wondering ) We are here to make our Neighborhood with homegrown Pride you can try to destroy our heart ?but you will never destroy our COMMUNITY ?.

A post shared by Antigua Coffee Roasters (@antiguacoffeeroasters) on


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