Anticapitalist LGBT+ Yiddish cafe closes down after ‘astonishing’ amount of antisemitism

The cafe, which did not charge for drinks, blamed burnout and harassment for the closure


A self-described “queer Yiddish anti-capitalist anarchist café” in Glasgow has closed down with the owners claiming an “astonishing” amount of antisemitism directed at them from other leftists forced their business's closure.

Volunteers at the Pink Peacock café, which does not charge for drinks, took to social media to share the news, blaming “burnout” of staff due to alleged antisemitism, and “capitalism”, for the cafe's failure.

“Like everyone, we’re struggling under capitalism and kyriarchy”, says a punctuation-less post to its website explaining the closure.

“On top of the expected right-wing backlash from terfs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) and bootlickers, we have received a frankly astonishing amount of antisemitic vitriol over the last 3 years from self-described leftists who have doxed us, harassed us online and off, and spread rumours about us being “landlord” “bosses” “profiting off the holocaust."

“Harassment from the SWP was the most organised, but most of it came from elsewhere. Several of our members have moved away or are planning to move soon, in part due to the Jewish isolation, unchecked antisemitism in Scotland, and the impact of this harassment.”

The post further claimed that some volunteers have “faced racism internally” as is apparently “depressingly common in majority-white leftist spaces.”

They also said they have been forced to disconnect their phone while the cafe closes due to “antisemitic harassing calls”.

On social media, they claim their staff endured “not just publicly viewable comments and replies, but direct messages, emails, phone calls, cyber-stalking, physical stalking, broken windows, doxing, attempts at nazi-infiltration,”

They added, “and that’s not to speak of the non-antisemitic-but-still-awful stuff we got too like transphobia, Jewish homophobia and “kapo” accusations for being anti-Zionist, and disturbing para-social relationships from fans who sent us, for example, suicide notes with our names in them.”

The cafe, which was vegan and alcohol-free, operated under a pay-what-you-can system and relied on donations. Among the merchandise for sale on its website is “be gay do crimes” and “destroy gender” magazines, a “universal police handcuff key”, sew-on “ACAB” patches, “Guillotine the rich” and “Plants don’t talk to cops, do you?” stickers.

In a 15-page online document explaining their mission statement, they say: “our priority is the safety of queers and jews, especially queer and jewish people of color, sexworkers, migrants, and poor people. we prioritise queer and jewish safety over the comfort of cishet goyim (non-queer non-jews) due to our heightened vulnerability and lack of community spaces. our position as police abolitionists is informed by these values.”

In 2021, a 32-year-old staff member was charged with breaching the peace after police were called to the premises due to a complaint over an offensive tote bag with the words “F*** the police” on it was put in the high street-facing window

At the time, the cafe’s Twitter account criticised the police for what it said was “an obvious attempt to intimidate us.”

The Socialist Workers Party and the Pink Peacock cafe have been approached for comment.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive