Edwin Lindo, seated, has reportedly lost 15 pounds since the hunger strike outside of Mission Police Station started on April 21. (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez/S.F. Examiner)

‘Frisco 5’ hunger strikers to confront Mayor Lee

The “Frisco 5” are taking their message to Mayor Ed Lee.

The five people who have camped out in front of Mission Police Station since last month and vowed not to eat until the police chief steps down, or is fired, intend to march to City Hall on Tuesday to further share their message.

Known as the “Frisco 5,” the activists will demand the mayor remove Chief Greg Suhr from his role in the San Francisco Police Department.

The call for Suhr’s job follows the recent controversial police killings of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Lopez, and most recently, a homeless man named Luis Gongora.

Maria Cristina Gutierrez, 66, is one of the hunger strikers.

Of the mayor, she said, “We hope maybe we can touch his heart.”

The mayor has not yet contacted them to say he will meet, the protesters said.

“If he doesn’t meet with us, it’s on him,” Gutierrez said from inside Mission Police Station on Sunday night.

The hunger strikers have camped at Mission Police Station at 630 Valencia St. since April 21. They include two rappers, Sellassie Blackwell, 39, and Ilych Sato, 42; a candidate for D9 supervisor, Edwin Lindo, 29; and two educators, Ike Pinkston, 42, and Gutierrez.

Previously, Lee told media that activists could email him.

Taking issue with that invitation, some scrawled on the sidewalk near the hunger strikers, “Fire Chief Suhr! Email Ed Lee!”

The activists will meet at Mission Police Station at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. From there they will march to City Hall.

It’s unclear how the hunger strikers will reach City Hall, as they all said they were physically weak.

Blackwell, Gutierrez and Lindo were outside Sunday night and held their bodies still as they spoke.

“I don’t feel my body anymore,” Lindo said in a soft voice, adding that he’s lost 15 pounds. He can’t stand for more than 30 minutes, he said, but “spiritually I’ve never felt so
great.”

Blackwell wouldn’t divulge details, but smiled and said “We have a very unique way we’re going to get
there.”

Over the weekend, the “Frisco 5” attracted a swell of support from the well-known Mission “low rider crew” as well as Gwendolyn Woods, the mother of a man shot and killed by SFPD last year.

Blackwell said the group has received support from all over the world, even as far as Taiwan, and gained coverage from French media outlets, the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

The interviews with Blackwell and Lindo were interrupted repeatedly Sunday night, as locals stopped to shake their hands and express support.

Though Lee has not responded directly to activists outraged by police killings, he has commented on the controversy around multiple batches of racist text messages reportedly sent by SFPD officers.

In an open letter to the SFPD on the most recent racist text messages to come to light, Lee wrote, “Let me be clear: the people who commit these acts do not deserve to be San Francisco police officers.”

Outside Mission Police Station, supporters of the hunger strikers gathered signatures for a petition to call for Suhr’s removal.

Frisco 5hunger strikeMayor Ed LeePoliticsSFPD

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