In shocking scenes last night, Dalston was set ablaze – almost literally – by a mob protesting about the increasing gentrification of the area.
Following an incendiary BBC documentary about cockneys being physically thrown out of their homes by hedge fund managers or something, the mob took to the streets wearing hoodies and those Guy Fawkes masks from that film that wasn’t as good as the comic.
The crowd, which numbered ‘up to several’ protesters according to police, focused their anger on two ‘pop-up’ restaurants newly opened in the area. Paint, balled-up socks and empty crisp packets rained down on the shop fronts of Wang, a cafe specialising in carpaccio of whelk, and République de Sauce à la Viande, which just sells gravy.
Aldous Lamprey, proprietor of Wang, said of the vicious assault, ‘It was absolutely marvellous. We’ve only been open a week and, frankly, the whelk thing wasn’t looking like much of a go-er. But the phone’s been ringing off the hook this morning. They’ll be travelling up from Shoreditch in their droves now we’re officially part of the whole soulless global bourgeoise conspiracy against the working classes.’
‘Obviously, there’s some mess to clear up,’ said Mr Lamprey, 29, ‘and one of the whelks was a bit traumatised, but the others rallied round and soon cheered him up. So, overall, a top night for us.’
The riot, during which a bin was knocked over and just left there, was also witnessed by Gary Wu, owner of the nearby Lucky Blossom Dragon Jade Lotus Garden Chinese takeaway.
‘It was horrific,’ said Mr Wu, 32, ‘Worst I’ve ever seen, and I used to live in Clapton.’
‘Honestly,’ he went on, warming to his task, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like it. But if I had to compare it to something I would call on the folk memories of my honoured ancestors and say it was exactly like the Nanking massacre of 1937. Only with hipsters, not Chinese peasants.’
‘And last night, not in 1937, obvs. More trainers and that.’
The Mercury understands that the owners of the two besieged restaurants have been sent a telegram of congratulations by Dalston mayor Miles Toob, who is currently under the care of the Betty Ford Clinic. [See yesterday’s Mercury for details.]