In a hunger strike that is being called the longest one in recent history, the activist group “Frisco 5” has been camping outside the Mission police station in San Francisco surviving on thin soups and tea until the city’s chief of police, Greg Suhr, is relieved of his position.
The five increasingly weak activists — Ike Pinkston, Edwin Lindo, Maria Gutierrez, Sellassie Blackwell, and de-facto leader, rapper and teacher Ilyich "Equipto" Sato — who have refused to eat for over 16 days, plan to continue their protest from the hospital where they were taken on Friday, after they became malnourished from lack of substantial nutrition.
The Frisco 5 went on strike following a “415 Day” event on April 15 which came soon after San Francisco police fatally shot 45- year-old Luis Gongora, a homeless man who was living in one of the Mission District’s tent encampment.
Supporters of the group who have dubbed themselves “Frisco 500” stormed the San Francisco City hall Friday night and clashed with deputies in riot gear.
The uprising was an inevitable consequence of the mayor’s refusal to remove Chief Suhr from office coupled with the added stress of the deteriorating health of their founders, the supporters of Frisco 5 turned to desperate measures.
Though some of the demonstrators have been arrested and others were pushed and beaten out of the building, they are still holding their ground and refusing to leave.
The mayor informed the activist group on Thursday that he was willing to work on police reforms but refused to make Suhr step down from his position as the head of San Francisco police department.
Advocates of the group allege they plan to demonstrate outside the City Hall over the weekend, but if forced to leave, will resume their protest from outside the Mission police station.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Jason Redmond