Siege Notes Portland: Justice for Fun and Profit

Child gangs still scourge the blocks around the ill-starred 7/11 on Fourth and Taylor. The other night I gingerly navigated around one group of precocious black thugs, early and maybe pre teens, trading threats with a similar group a half a block away. There I thought I saw the same furious hispanic kid who’s always on the scene. He can’t be fourteen years old; four foot something and always ready to fight, the only thing saving his victims, so far, is his tiny stature.

Downtown remains abandoned for the most part by antifa–and the blocks around the jail and federal buildings remain abandoned for the most part by police in the late evening/early morning hours. The child gangs and other criminal types run the streets–but there isn’t enough prey left, with antifa’s absence (how much that has to do with the black criminal element is a good question) and even the homeless, having endured classical music over a loudspeaker for years to maintain a continual camp around the 7/11, are thinned down to the last few hardcore helpless. With the streets this bare the child gangs’ only prey are each other and random motorists they’ve been known to challenge to fight. One acquaintance, an Iraqi who can’t go home because he worked for the US military in the Iraq War, told me of this happening to him–though this was about a month ago.

There’s a vigil in the dozens around the ruined site of the Elk Statue nightly that appears to be white antifa, while the presence across the park, a row of tents squared off with the courthouse across the street, is black. Black Lives Matter T-shirts for sale, of course. A “BLM Ribs” operates there, I don’t know if they sell their food or just accept donations–the old, white “Riot Ribs” having been brought down by at least one money-making scheme, of which the alleged killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson was allegedly a part.

The original Riot Ribs raised their profile and a good deal of money giving away food, and thus drew the attention of criminal and political hustlers alike. After a false Riot Ribs started soliciting donations in July, the operation was turned over to Don’t Shoot PDX, an anti-cop group led by a current write-in candidate for mayor, and hectoring Demetria Hester:

“We would like to transition Riot Ribs over to organizations that are better equipped to provide permanent mutual aid in Portland,” explains Riot Ribs spokesperson Beans. “We feel as though we have a moral obligation to work with other mutual aid groups across the country and spread our resources.”

To this end, Riot Ribs Portland will be transferring leadership—and the majority of funds—to police accountability group Don’t Shoot PDX with Don’t Shoot’s Demetria Hester acting the point person for the transition. Meanwhile, a mobile Riot Ribs spinoff, dubbed Revolution Ribs, will be hitting the road with in a pair of newly purchased vans stocked with food, grills, and coolers.

The wider operations never materialized and the thing was shut down. It’s almost as if it was, er, looted.

(Antifa’s dowdy “snack truck” did turn up in Washington DC, however to get its tires slashed by the cops there.)

Remarkably the Mercury blog post above doesn’t mention the context; the original operators packed it in after a campaign of theft and intimidation two days after the post above, on July 27:

Riot Ribs is dissolving completely. We have someone who is trying to profit off of our movement who continues to volunteer in the park, pretending he’s involved with Riot Ribs. 

— RIOT RIBS 🔥 (@riotribs) July 27, 2020
“Riot Ribs is dissolving completely,” said the tweet.

The group said it has been targeted with threats and assaults, and that someone had repeatedly misrepresented themselves as part of the organization in Lownsdale Square.

In addition to their operations at Lownsdale Square, which sits directly opposite the federal courthouse, Riot Ribs has also operated on Southwest Fourth Avenue and Salmon Street. Police have seized Riot Ribs’ supplies at least once, including on July 16…

“All volunteers should leave the park immediately and do not continue to come to the tents,” Riot Ribs tweeted. “Tell anyone you know that’s at the park to leave. We are going to regroup and will be back.”

On Friday, the group had Tweeted that they would no longer be accepting money, as they had raised more than $300,000 in donations. They also said that others had been impersonating Riot Ribs and trying to solicit donations for a cash app account that wasn’t affiliated with the organization.

The organization had just transferred leadership to Don’t Shoot Portland, a nonprofit community activism group led by Teressa Raiford. The Portland Mercury first reported the news.

In the tweet announcing their dissolution, Riot Ribs said they still plan to give back all the money they’ve raised to the community, but didn’t immediately specify how the money would be spent.

Riot Ribs first emerged July 4, setting up in Lownsdale Square and cooking food for the protesters who showed up downtown each night.

Those antifa pipsqueaks don’t think they’re just going to walk away with their three hundred K, did they?

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