Hunger striker hospitalized for ‘blood issues’

One of the “Frisco 5” hunger strikers has been hospitalized, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Sellassie Blackwell is receiving treatment for “blood issues,” hunger strikers said. He is a local rapper and activist who has vowed not to eat since April 21 until Police Chief Greg Suhr is fired or resigns.

Blackwell received problematic medical test results either Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, said fellow hunger striker Edwin Lindo, who is also a supervisor candidate.

At around 10 a.m. Wednesday, Blackwell was transported to UC San Francisco Medical Center at Parnassus, according to the GPS tag from a photo Blackwell posted to Instagram.

“The doctors said there were some issues with the initial lab tests, because it may be serious,” Lindo said.

When asked if the test results had to do with the strike, Lindo responded, “The doctor said [Blackwell] wouldn’t be in this position if he wasn’t in the strike.”

The test results came from Clínica Martín-Baró, Lindo said, and were provided free of charge as a donation to the strikers.

Blackwell posted a photo of himself in a hospital gown to Instagram at 11:30 a.m., and wrote of his hospitalization.

“#edlee will have another native SF black victims [sic] blood on his hands,” he wrote.

Blackwell continued, “Waited 12 days for us to starve and because of international pressure he received finally acknowledged us… 14 days in today and I might be the first to the grave.”

Lindo said doctors warned that after three weeks of not eating, permanent damage to their health becomes “much more possible.”

Blackwell’s hospitalization comes a day after the hunger strikers marked Day 13 without food by marching on City Hall at the head of hundreds of protesters to demand a meeting with the mayor.

Mayor Ed Lee, however, was not at City Hall when they arrived, and the protesters instead confronted the Board of Supervisors and forced their meeting to temporarily close down.

S.F. Examiner staff writers Jonah Owen Lamb and Joshua Sabatini contributed to this report.

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