‘Queer, Yiddish’ anti-capitalist anarchist café closes after ‘unchecked antisemtism’

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‘Queer, Yiddish’ anti-capitalist anarchist café closes after ‘unchecked antisemtism’

Co-owners of Glasgow's Pink Peacock cafe say its closed this week after staff suffered 'harassment' from 'self-described leftists' and from 'a right-wing backlash'

Pink Peacock
Pink Peacock

The owners of a “queer Yiddish anti-capitalist anarchist café” have cited “unchecked antisemitism in Scotland” as a reason for its closure this week.

The Pink Peacock cafe, which opened three years ago, had operated on a “pay-as-you-can” basis, which invited customers to pay a price for the goods that they consumed if they were able, but which also allowed them to eat for free.

Confirming the closure on Wednesday co-owners Morgan Holleb and Joe Isaac alleged that they had suffered from “harassment” from “self-described leftists” including members of the far-left Socialist Workers Party.

They also said they had been victims of “a right-wing backlash from terfs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists] and bootlickers.”

In a statement on the cafe website it was suggested members of its collective, who work as volunteers at the café, were suffering from “burnout” due to the stresses of “struggling under capitalism and kyriarchy.”

They also blamed the “ongoing pandemic” and the “constant battle to keep ourselves financially afloat.”

The owners said that their experience with the cafe had led to some of the collective deciding to move out of the Scottish city due to “the Jewish isolation, unchecked antisemitism in Scotland, and the impact of this harassment.”

But not all in the Glasgow community were unhappy at the cafe’s closure.

Paul Edlin, a former president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council and a Conservative Party councillor, told the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) he was “delighted” that the Pink Peacock had shut down.

Edlin claimed that “all they ever did was create embarrassment and trouble for the community” and qualified the relationship between the café and the mainstream Jewish community in Glasgow as “negative.”

“If they had been mainstream, in any way embracing Jewish values, the community would have been delighted to embrace them,” Edlin said.

“They are against everything that most people see as normal,” he said, pointing to the café’s anti-Zionism and anti-police stances.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish,” he added.

Accounts filed in May 2022 showed that the Pink Peacock owed creditors £12,000, but had only £5,764 on hand.

In 2022, the Community Security Trust recorded 34 antisemitic incidents in Scotland, up from 30 in 2020.

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