Dozens of protesters were arrested after storming City Hall Friday, refusing to leave until they had spoken to Mayor Ed Lee following the hospitalization of five people who had been on a hunger strike for 16 days outside the Mission Police Station.
A total of 33 protesters — including 19 women, 13 men and one juvenile — were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing and refusal to disperse. Ten people remained in jail Saturday, Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Eileen Hurst said.
Outside the mayor’s office, the protesters Friday demanded the mayor fire police Chief Greg Suhr in response to recent fatal shootings of black and Latino men, including Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Amilcar Perez Lopez and Luis Gongora.
The five hunger strikers, also known as the “Frisco 5,” had been posted outside the Mission Police Station for more than two weeks. The five were hospitalized Friday around noon, after doctors monitoring the group determined their health was at risk if they continued the hunger strike, according to Max LeYoung, a spokesperson for the hunger strikers.
The five, however, plan to continue to continue their hunger strike while in the hospital, according the Frisco500, a group supporting the hunger strikers.
Although the mayor never showed up at his office, the protesters refused to leave.
When sheriff’s deputies closed the doors to the building at around 5 p.m., the protesters instead moved the protest to the main entrance inside City Hall. Some sat in the doorways of the main entrance, in order to let more protesters inside, refusing to move from their spot, even as deputies stood guard at the doors.
By the evening, about 200 protesters had arrived at the location, as some lined up against a group of sheriff’s deputies dressed in riot gear.
“This movement is not about confrontation with the police. We are not holding this line because we are at war with them, we are holding this line because they are at war with us,” protester and organizer Nanci Armstrong said.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.