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  1. #1

    Blue Cat Cafe Protests

    One of the strangest things I have seen today was about a Cat Cafe being protested in Austin, Texas. It seems the protests are over gentrification of the area, and have caused harassment on varying degrees... over a Cat Cafe. Apart from the provided news story, all I seem to find about it is bias stories from either side of this issue. So my question is, does anyone know wtf is really going on here because being this level of upset over a new place opening up in the area, especially one as adorable as a cat cafe, seems asinine to me.

    http://www.kvue.com/news/local/prote...tion/447809113

    AUSTIN - On Sunday, a group of people protested the filming of a television show at the East Austin business, "Blue Cat Cafe," which has been considered a symbol of the gentrification in that part of the city.

    According to KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, officers used a stun gun on one of the protesters.

    (removed the tweet cause idk how to link it here)

    According to a reporter with the Statesman, the protesters eventually walked off and shouted, "We'll be back."

    A Facebook event page created for the protest states neighbors gathered at the cafe to protest the Comedy Central filming due to the fact that it would disrupt the day and "continue to legtimitze Blue Cat Cafe, Landlords Jordan French and Darius Fisher, and contribute to the erasure of the demolition of Jumpolin."

    Blue Cat Cafe sits where Jumpolin pinata store was before it was demolished in 2015. The demolition sparked unrest in the neighborhood, with many residents there claiming the cafe is just another step in gentrification for the area.

    The Blue Cat Cafe has been in business for almost two years and in that time the owners says shes dealt with constant harassment, vandalism, death threats and even a dead cat that was thrown on the property.

    She says the protest was similar and that the group "Defend Our Hoods" made their way up to the Blue Cat Cafe to protest because they were upset the Comedy Central pilot was being filmed at a business that opened in the same lot of a piñata shop which was demolished in 2015 after operating for eight years. This is because they're against gentrification.

    The owner said she wants people to know she had nothing to do with that and that it was actually the landlord who made the decision to demolish the piñata shop. In fact, she didn't even have any backing for her business when this was being done, let alone knowing where it would stand.

    She said they were trying to do something positive by creating a cat cafe which has had over ‪300 cat‬ adoptions. It's is incredibly upsetting to her to see what's happening. Her employees feel the same way.

    "We work here because we like it," Blue Cat Cafe employee Victor Boylan said. "We enjoy it, we enjoy the cats, so having this cloud hanging over our head is just very uncomfortable and it's scary."

    KVUE reached out to the Defend Our Hoods Group but have not heard back.

    This protest comes after a mural in East Austin was spray painted with several strong messages about gentrification on Saturday. Erin Jones spotted spray painted phrases such as "Take back our town" and "Gentrifiers out of East Austin" on a building located at 12th and Chicon streets.
    Disclaimer: I have seen the race baiting part of this fiasco while reading the various opinion pieces about this. Can we keep that to out of here cause forbidden topics and all.

  2. #2
    Some of the protests against the cafe are also because there's some (anecdotal) evidence that they don't really take the best care of the cats. I've never been personally so I don't have that experience. I was reading something last night on Facebook about some shelter no longer providing them with cats because of it but it being Facebook and all it's probably bullshit.

  3. #3
    The Lightbringer Flarelaine's Avatar
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    Wait, people get a say in who buys the house next door? In the land of the free?

  4. #4
    Merely a Setback Hubcap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flarelaine View Post
    Wait, people get a say in who buys the house next door? In the land of the free?
    Well, what happens is: say you're renting an apartment for $300 when suddenly the hipsters decide that your neighborhood is "hip" and they start moving in and buying places up. Suddenly your rent goes up to $500. The hipsters renovate a lot of the old properties in the neighborhood and now other people decide it would be a nice place to live too. Your rent goes up to $700 and you can't afford that and you have to move.

    This happens to minorities a lot.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    Some of the protests against the cafe are also because there's some (anecdotal) evidence that they don't really take the best care of the cats. I've never been personally so I don't have that experience. I was reading something last night on Facebook about some shelter no longer providing them with cats because of it but it being Facebook and all it's probably bullshit.
    Interesting, that would be understandable cause treating cats badly is the worst. I really hope that isn't true because a cat cafe is supposed to be a great place, not a torture location for the poor kitties.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Algy View Post
    Interesting, that would be understandable cause treating cats badly is the worst. I really hope that isn't true because a cat cafe is supposed to be a great place, not a torture location for the poor kitties.
    I don't think its so much that overall its bad just that some of the reports are that some cats were like sick or something which is kind of silly because animals can and will get sick from time to time. I've heard the complete opposite that its a great place that treats their cats well and as we can see they've had 300 something adoptions so that's another win in my book. I might just swing by there next time I'm in austin to check it out.

    As for the whole gentrification thing... eh kind of torn on that. It's a real thing but at the same time the owner says they had nothing to do with the pinata store being demolished so what can you do?

  7. #7
    The Lightbringer Flarelaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubcap View Post
    Well, what happens is: say you're renting an apartment for $300 when suddenly the hipsters decide that your neighborhood is "hip" and they start moving in and buying places up. Suddenly your rent goes up to $500. The hipsters renovate a lot of the old properties in the neighborhood and now other people decide it would be a nice place to live too. Your rent goes up to $700 and you can't afford that and you have to move.

    This happens to minorities a lot.
    I claim the Poe defense.

    Yes, I know the drill. I was trying to be sarcastic. I mean... well, I keep hearing Americans boasting about lack of regulations, especially if they are supporting the party which even is working to do more of them away. But that situation is pretty much what the free market does. Cities in Western Europe have been trying to pass regulations preventing such sudden rent hikes. We have yet to see if those work, but they are trying.

    But what really made me sarcastic is the attitude towards the café owner. I understand she is a renter as well. What the fuck does she have to do with how the landlords dealt with previous tenants? Why on Earth is she even supposed to know? She looked for a place, she found one. And now these people keep bothering her because she's on hand to bother, unlike the landlords. This always gets me angry, because I find it to be the embodiment of what is wrong with politics these days: people with a grievance who do not know or do not care what the real source of their problems is, because it is easier to form a mob and mindlessly hate on a convenient target. This is what got you guys Trump, in the end.

  8. #8
    Moderator Crissi's Avatar
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    Austins a great place, but it has its crazies. Unless the owner is neglecting the cats, I see no reason to protest. Crazies gonna crazy

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    I don't think its so much that overall its bad just that some of the reports are that some cats were like sick or something which is kind of silly because animals can and will get sick from time to time. I've heard the complete opposite that its a great place that treats their cats well and as we can see they've had 300 something adoptions so that's another win in my book. I might just swing by there next time I'm in austin to check it out.

    As for the whole gentrification thing... eh kind of torn on that. It's a real thing but at the same time the owner says they had nothing to do with the pinata store being demolished so what can you do?
    I live in Austin and this is the first I've heard of this happening. Then again, I don't have cable right now, so I'm not super aware of local news.

    Knowing this city, I don't believe that gentrification was the goal, but I can certainly understand that it's a possible and problematic outcome. As far as cat treatment... well, I guess I'd have to go there to find out. Most of my friends are homebodies so I don't know if any of them have actually gone there.

  10. #10
    I am sure one of them will get the courage to light it up and save their beloved slum.

  11. #11
    Dreadlord
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    Aww man, I was expecting asian girls with cat ears

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    I don't think its so much that overall its bad just that some of the reports are that some cats were like sick or something which is kind of silly because animals can and will get sick from time to time. I've heard the complete opposite that its a great place that treats their cats well and as we can see they've had 300 something adoptions so that's another win in my book. I might just swing by there next time I'm in austin to check it out.

    As for the whole gentrification thing... eh kind of torn on that. It's a real thing but at the same time the owner says they had nothing to do with the pinata store being demolished so what can you do?
    Yeaaaa, I was seeing opinions on the place varying widely as I was looking into this. I saw a facebook post about this place and was like "this is crazy, there has to be more to it" and i ended up seeing "this place is terrible" or "this place is great" kind of opinions left and right as i went through the googling.

    From what I saw, that is all i saw as well with the gentrification part. They set up shop because there was a spot there pretty much, not that they actively tried to destroy the old location to take over or some crap like that.

  13. #13
    I saw something about this earlier. Idk if u would want to be associated w/ a group called "defend our hoods". I saw that they also where masks. It's hard to have simpathy for a group that vandilizes and throws dead animals at someone's store. Maybe they should take that time they r spending destroying someone else's property and use it to better their lives.

  14. #14
    Herald of the Titans Dr Assbandit's Avatar
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    Wait a minute, there are CAT CAFES!???
    "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum... and I'm all outta ass."

    I'm a British gay Muslim Pakistani American citizen, ask me how that works! (terribly)

  15. #15
    The Insane Kujako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flarelaine View Post
    Wait, people get a say in who buys the house next door? In the land of the free?
    Well it's TX, so no... almost anything goes there as far as property. One poor SOB woke up to find someone built a roller coaster around his house. But, to paraphrase the movie Who's the Man.... "gentrification means that people move into your neighborhood and make it nice. They make it so nice, you can't afford to live there anymore."
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.

    -Kujako-

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Assbandit View Post
    Wait a minute, there are CAT CAFES!???
    Before this post, I thought this was just another "Japan thing", as they are quite common in larger cities over there apparently. But...yes. Cat Cafes are a thing.

  17. #17
    Weeb Queen Video Games's Avatar
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    I don't want cat poop in my tea/coffee

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Video Games View Post
    I don't want cat poop in my tea/coffee
    I do wonder how they pass health inspections. Being a cat owner I can tell you there is literally cat hair EVERYWHERE and cat litter that will inevitably have cat shit on it.

  19. #19
    Weeb Queen Video Games's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    I do wonder how they pass health inspections. Being a cat owner I can tell you there is literally cat hair EVERYWHERE and cat litter that will inevitably have cat shit on it.
    Same. Probably super powered hair vacuums. Though if it's like my big floof, that doesn't help.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Video Games View Post
    Same. Probably super powered hair vacuums. Though if it's like my big floof, that doesn't help.
    There's no escaping the floof no matter what. Try as you might but eventually you accept your fate.

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