October 23 2014 Latest news:
by Paul Wright
Thursday, July 31, 2014
The owner of a vegan cake shop fears for her business after anti-fascist activists launched a “mistaken” campaign to stop people visiting her store.
Kim Kalkowski, 29, who runs Cakes ‘n’ Treats in Pratt Street, Camden Town, says she has been wrongly identified as having links with violent neo-Nazis.
She has been left distraught after her tea shop was on the receiving end of a stream of hate mail, abusive telephone calls and an internet-driven boycott campaign.
It comes as an article accusing her of “spreading fascism” in Camden by allegedly “hanging out with known neo-Nazis” from abroad was published online by anti-fascist groups and shared by thousands of people.
However, the German baker, a TV celebrity in her native country who opened her Camden cake shop a year ago, says the accusations are “complete nonsense” and a “huge mistake”.
She said: “Firstly, none of the people involved in this ‘investigation’ have even bothered to come to my shops to ask me if it’s true.
“If they had, they’d have found out that I’m not a fascist, I’m not a racist and I’m not a homophobe – I even used to do catering for anti-fascist groups!
“The one blurred Facebook photo they say proves I hang round with these people isn’t even of me, I was in Germany at the time.
“If I was a neo-Nazi, why would I want to live in one of the most multicultural boroughs in one of the most multicultural cities in the world?
“It seems to stem from an article written two years ago when I was in Germany by someone who developed a personal vendetta against me.”
In 2012, an article published by a German anti-fascist group while she ran her shop in Dortmund made similar claims that Ms Kalkowski had links to neo-Nazi groups because some of the “5,000” Facebook friends she had amassed turned out to be members of far-right organisations.
Despite releasing a statement saying she was not a fascist and that she “didn’t have the time” to check every person who made contact with her on Facebook, the claims led to her shop windows being smashed and her receiving abusive phone calls.
She is now worried the same could happen in Camden.
“I don’t want what happened in Germany to happen here,” she said. “I was scared and my family was scared.”
The UK group responsible for the recent allegations against her – called London Antifascists – said it stands by what it has published.
“We hope people will take an ethical stance on the information we’ve put out there,” said Alex, one of the group members.
“We wouldn’t put out anything that’s misleading but this is just the start of an ongoing investigation.”
A statement published by the group added: “Camden is a mecca for all manner of sub-cultures which historically has also included those from the neo-Nazi and white power music scene.
“This still occurs today, to a slightly lesser extent, and we were concerned that the place could become a magnet again.”