An immigrant in the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles has become the target anti-Trump extremists, because of his support for “legal” immigration.
Thursday’s grand opening of Asher Caffe & Lounge was met with protester who hurled feces at the window of this new kosher coffee house. Owner Asher Shalom legally immigrated from Israel 30 years ago and been a US citizen for 15 years, according to KCAL.
The drama began when Shalom posted to his Facebook wall, “I wish Democrats would fight as hard for Americans, as they do for illegals.” After the post, Shalom recieved a letter from the local Chamber of Commerce stating he could no longer be a member, claiming his post was “anti-immigrant.”
Boyle Heights thrives because of our diverse immigrant population,” Boyle Heights Chamber President Jennifer LaHoda said in a written statement. “We will not support anyone who chooses to conduct themselves in a hateful manner, especially toward members of our community.”
Shalom told KCAL he owns several businesses and most of his 70 employees are immigrants, but that did not stop a local group from organizing a protest and boycott of Shalom’s new shop. He says he does not understand what any of this has to do with good coffee. “So what’s the connection? This is what I don’t understand. I’m confused — the connection between Donald Trump and good coffee,” he said.
The protest was planned and organized by a local group called Defend Boyle Heights (DBH), which describes itself as an “anti-gentrification coalition devoted to community and our hood.” A Facebook “Hood Alert” was posted by the group urged members of the community to protest the grand opening of Shalom’s cafe.
DBH made several followup posts, including one that said, “Good Job Fam, thank you so much for coming out.” Comments from the public were mixed, with some encouraging the protesters and others supporting Shalom.
“Shut them down,” exclaimed Facebook user Pat Medel.
Ani Stubbs Jacob had a different view. She wrote, “You mean fascist neos attacked a Jewish business.”
“It was very scary,” said Shalom’s daughter Yael. “There were a lot of people outside wearing masks and they threw a significant amount of feces at our windows.” The Jewish Journal reported Shalom’s son, David, told The Daily Wire that they faced “anti-Semitic slurs” as well as “pro-Palestinian chants” during the protests.
Shalom says he is baffled how this all spun out of his support for legal immigration. He denies that he is anti-immigrant and says, “My name is ‘Shalom’ and I love Peace.”
In a Facebook Live video posted by DBH, the group of about 30 can be heard yelling obscenities in English and Spanish, as well as describing Shalom, an Orthodox Jew, as a racist. The group can be seen verbally accosting patrons and police, including one instance where the camera operator says cops can get away with murdering children. Another yells to police and firefighters on the scene they are “pieces of s**t.”