U.S. Congressman Rises to the Defense of Riot Ribs

The pop-up barbecue has been serving all-you-can-eat meals to downtown demonstrators since July 4.

A griller at Riot Ribs broils up some burgers along NW 3rd and Salmon street.

Riot Ribs, the all-night, donations-only barbecue restaurant that nourishes protesters in downtown Portland, has gained a champion: U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

Blumenauer sent a donation to the barbecue Wednesday, and urged his constituents to join him, after the proprietors of Riot Ribs reported that federal agents had damaged their property.

"The needless damage that Trump's secret police did to Riot Ribs—a volunteer-led effort to feed and supply protesters and those in need—shows just how morally bankrupt and cruel this occupation is," Blumenauer wrote on Twitter. "While I'm in D.C. working to defund these efforts and get the feds out of Portland, I am also giving a donation to Riot Ribs and would encourage others to give if they can or consider reaching out and volunteering with them. Venmo @riotribs."

Riot Ribs has been serving all-you-can-eat meals to downtown demonstrators since July 4, when a lifelong Portlander and onetime Black Panther named Lorenzo set up a grill on the sidewalk near the federal courthouse. Its operations have been routinely disrupted by tear gas and sporadically swept away by city and federal police.

Related: Protesters feast on Riot Ribs, a donations-only barbecue in the center of a standoff with the feds. 

On the morning of July 22, the restaurant reported federal agents had doused their larder with tear gas.

"Everyone needs to know that they're targeting us. They slashed our cases of water bottles; broke one tent only (one of our cooks); broke open our snacks and sprayed them with tear gas as well."

Riot Ribs served food again last night. The diner at Southwest Salmon Street and 4th Avenue operates 24/7, except when police or federal agents intervene to destroy the setup. Riot Ribs consistently posts on Twitter and updates its 22,000 followers on supplies it needs.

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