Popular Queer Yiddish Cafe in the Southside announces closure this month

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The Queer Yiddish anti-fascist anti-capitalist cafe has often courted controversy in it’s 3-year lifespan

A popular volunteer-run anarchist Yiddish cafe in the Southside has announced their imminent closure next week.

The owners of Pink Peacock released the statement today, writing that the Cafe will close its doors for the final time on Wednesday, June 14.Operators of the cafe claim they are experiencing ‘burnout’ with the cafe as they are ‘struggling under capitalism and kyriarchy’.

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Throughout it’s history, the cafe has struggled to secure regular volunteers and keep the cafe financially afloat under the ‘pay-what-you-can’ system.

Operators also cited ‘a frankly astonishing amount of antisemitic vitriol’ as a major factor in the closure of the cafe. Many of the original members have since moved due to ‘Jewish isolation’ and ‘unchecked antisemitism in Scotland.’

In a statement, Pink Peacock said:”We’re so sad it’s come to this, and we want to be transparent about what’s been happening. the short answer is burnout.

“We’ve all been volunteers this whole time, and like everyone we’re struggling under capitalism and kyriarchy.

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“Most of us are disabled, and the ongoing pandemic is still hurting our collective physical and mental health. The constant battle to keep ourselves financially afloat didn’t help.

“On top of the expected right-wing backlash from terfs and bootlickers, we have received a frankly astonishing amount of antisemitic vitriol over the last 3 years from self-described leftists who have doxxed us, harassed us online and off, and spread rumors about us being “landlord” “bosses” “profiting off the holocaust” and “sh****** in mailboxes”.”

The anti-capitalist cafe in Govanhill has allegedly faced harassment from various source over it’s three year run.

Pink Peacock itself has courted controversy in the past, as the Cafe director was charged back in the summer of 2021 for selling a ‘F*** the Police’ branded tote bag which was displayed in the window of the cafe.

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Just last month, in a display of action, the cafe burned a Harry Potter book in the street in protest of a new Harry Potter videogame being released:’Hogwarts Legacy’.

The team opposed to the intellectual property of Harry Potter due to JK Rowling’s transphobic statements on Twitter.

The popular volunteer-run cafe has announced it’s closure due to burnoutThe popular volunteer-run cafe has announced it’s closure due to burnout
The popular volunteer-run cafe has announced it’s closure due to burnout | Pink Peacock

Continuing their statement, Pink Peacock wrote:”While the burnout is real and the harassment has really affected us, we’ve also received so much love and support: from our local community, the jewish diaspora, and other anarchist groups in glasgow and beyond.

“We’ve had dozens of wonderful volunteers drift in and out of the collective to offer their time and expertise, and countless others have donated their skills, money, furniture, art, and voices to this project. we could not have done any of this without you.

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“We’re sorry our hours have been sporadic recently: nothing was more important to us than keeping our doors open so people have access to free food, literature, and community, and we were doing our best.

“Shortcomings aside, we have done incredible work: the pink peacock is anti-capitalism in action. the pay-what-you-can-down-to-£0 model is a love letter to a better future, and our attempt to bring it closer even as the world falls apart around us.

“Since we started at the onset of the pandemic, we’ve served thousands of free meals and hosted hundreds of queer, jewish, and anarchist events.

“We created a beautiful space that was damn close to what we want to see in the world. we’ve proven that it’s possible, that we can come together as comrades and make things better. That mutual aid works. For 3 years it worked! In this hostile world, that’s something to be proud of.

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if this space has meant anything to you, please tell us (we’re very sad right now), and come see us in our last week. it’s your last chance to get pay-what-you-can books and stickers and pins and food from us!

“We’re also hoping to raise some money to cover our closing costs, so it doesn’t fall on us as individuals. You can help by coming in for a coffee, ordering something online (everything’s still PWYC down to £0), or donating money. Any extra funds we have when we’re closed will be offered to the small trans library.

“Oylam ha’bo / the world to come / revolution is inevitable, and we’re so glad the pink peacock was part of bringing it closer, in our small way. This is the end of the café, but it isn’t the end of our queer jewish anarchism: watch out, we’re everywhere!”

You can read the full statement by Pink Peacock on their website.

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