Burnt Ramen Supporters Protest Artists' Eviction at Richmond Council Meeting

Burnt Ramen supporters at Richmond City Council meeting (Photo: Erin Amelia Ruch )

Dozens of people marched to a Richmond City Council meeting Tuesday night to protest the decision to red tag Burnt Ramen, an artist live-work warehouse in Richmond.

City inspectors declared the warehouse uninhabitable last week, shutting down the underground venue and forcing its owner Michael Malin and five others to find elsewhere to live.

The actions came after Mayor Tom Butt publicly called out Burnt Ramen, saying it was the city's own "Ghost Ship," referring to the Oakland venue where a fire killed 36 people earlier this month.

Supporters met at a nearby park before the meeting and then marched about two blocks to the city council meeting. There, many of the protesters signed up to speak during the public comment period.

During his comments, Ramen supporter Travis James said the city should not generalize about the safety of artist warehouses.

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"Creative spaces like Burnt Ramen have building standards that do not resemble the Ghost Ship at all, and the two spaces are not comparable with each other in terms of safety," James said. "Safety does not look like harming an affected community by closing our spaces of refuge."

Some council members expressed a willingness to work with the residents of Burnt Ramen. Mayor Butt did not comment during the supporters' speeches.

Former Ramen residents say they're appealing the red tag with the city attorney and that they have yet to receive a list detailing the violations that led to the evictions.

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Burnt Ramen has set up a crowdfunding site to raise money for repairs. Interested parties can donate here.

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