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Salem restaurant owner hands out 200 free lunches on Martin Luther King Day

Epilogue Kitchen and Cocktails encouraged cars to line the street and tune in to the "I have a dream" speech played on a local station.

SALEM, Ore. — At Epilogue Kitchen and Cocktails in downtown Salem, a line formed outside the restaurant. It stretched only about a dozen at a time, but every time the line would end, there was another person or two starting it right back up again.

Epilogue's owner Jonathan Jones stood behind a makeshift counter outside the restaurant taking orders of those that walked up. Their choices were one of two items, a fried chicken sandwich or a salad. As each customer walked to the table and placed their order, he'd turn around and call it into the kitchen behind him.

A minute later, the order would be handed out and the next person in line would step up. Jones was giving away 200 free boxes of lunch to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"We're using Dr. King's words and his voice as sort of a vessel for our ability to feed the community and nourish the community," Jones said.

Dr. King spoke many times about ending poverty, hunger and racism. Three problems that still plague the world. 

"So we're feeding the community, which was a big part of what he did, what the Black Panthers did, what Malcolm X did. Every revolutionary movement has evolved, nourishing the community both with food and with information."

Jones encouraged cars to line the parking spots in front of his restaurant, and throughout Salem, to tune into a local radio station that would play King's "I have a dream" and "Letters from a Birmingham jail" speeches.

"One of the things that white supremacists hate is occupation of space by people that are not white. What better way to occupy space than to literally occupy all of the spacing including the airwaves." Jones said.

Messages of support for Black Lives Matter and phrases from Dr. King's speeches were written on the sidewalks with chalk in front of Epilogue. Customers with their boxes of food sat along the side of the building, in or near their cars and listened while speeches spoken almost 60 years ago played across radios in Salem.

"It feels really nice, we've been sort of under this blanket of oppressive weirdness for quite a long while and this feels good today." Jones said.


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