A small coffee shop called Weird Wave Coffee, which is at the center of multiple anti-gentrification protests in Boyle Heights, was vandalized last month, according to its owners. Footage from surveillance video showed someone, dressed in dark clothing and a dark mask, stepping out of an alley and then quickly using what may be a slingshot to shoot an object at the shop’s logo, which cracked the coffee shop’s glass door. The coffee shop owners are not sure whether the vandalism is associated with the protesters. John Schwarz and Jackson Defa, the owners of the coffee shop, stated:
It could have been just some punk kid.
The Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating the incident. The coffee shop opened in June and has since been the target of multiple protests and online trolling. Activists believe the cafe poses a threat to local shops because it will draw in similar hip, new businesses that cause rents to go up. They believe that older tenants who have been doing business along Cesar Chavez Avenue for many years will be forced out because of increased rent. A growing arts scene has taken root in the industrial section of the Boyle Heights, which is heavily Latino. Some residents say they worry the galleries will change the neighborhood, increase rent and push working-class families out.