03/21/2013 03:37 EDT | Updated 03/21/2013 03:45 EDT

Save On Meats Sign Stolen By Anarchists

Anarchists are being blamed for stealing a street sign from a Vancouver restaurant that hands out sandwiches to the homeless. It's the second attack on a Vancouver business in the last six months.

Save On Meats owner Mark Brand says that anarchists swiped the restaurant's sandwich-board sign from the Downtown Eastside. He posted a photo of a hooded figure standing behind the sign to his Instagram account on Wednesday.

"They won't stop until the capitalists leave the neighbourhood. I'm serious," Brand wrote. "They will be embarking on a mission to close Save On Meats."

Save On Meats is known for starting a sandwich token system that can be purchased by donors and then given to people who can exchange them for food. But Brand and the diner have come under fire for gentrifying the low-income neighbourhood and accused of treating area residents badly.

The sign theft came as a group calling themselves the "Anti Gentrification Front" claimed responsibility for the smashing windows of Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria on Commercial Drive. The restaurant's owner said it's been vandalized in September, October and last week, causing $17,000 worth of damage in total.

"For all too long now yuppies have been peacefully going about their gourmet dinners, buying up their lucky condos and flaunting their wealth by driving around in expensive cars," the group wrote on the Anarchist News website last week.

The group also took responsibility for vandalizing two City of Vancouver trucks and a tractor, though it has not mentioned stealing the Save On Meats sign.

The attacks come as protesters continue to hound PiDGiN, a Downtown Eastside restaurant criticized for promoting "poverty tourism" because of its location across from Pigeon Park, a drug-dealing landmark.

Anti-poverty activist Ivan Drury, an organizer of the PiDGiN protests, said the attacks are "not connected" to community struggles in the Downtown Eastside, but he also didn't condemn them, the Georgia Straight reported.

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