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On May 3, while Mayor Ed Lee firmly pledged his loyalty to SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, who has been a curse on Black and Brown communities for decades, and Suhr swore he wasn’t leaving, the Frisco 5, demanding Suhr’s ouster, led a long march to City Hall in their wheelchairs with their fists raised, anticipating the victory that came only 16 days later.

Police chief forced to resign in victory for Frisco 500

May 24, 2016

May 19 was less than a month since the “Frisco 5” began their hunger strike with a single demand: that Police Chief Greg Suhr resign or be fired … this chief, who for five years has been crying crocodile tears while justifying every police killing of a Black or Latino person … this chief, who for five years has been vigilantly protected by the mayor, the media and the city’s Democratic political establishment. On May 19, the mayor forced him to resign.

Shimeko Franklin

I’m a young Black woman in Oakland, single mom and student – and a Bernie Sanders delegate!

May 19, 2016

The Bernie Sanders platform spoke to me, and at the delegate caucus in Oakland, I was one of nine selected to represent Congressional District 13 for Bernie Sanders and my community. The Bernie Sanders platform relates to people like me faced with rising costs of living, disenfranchisement, gentrification and systemic racism. People who feel this pressure know it is not a radical idea to have a candidate like Sanders defending our issues and speaking truth to power.

The Afrikatown mural and community garden

Come to the Afrikatown Anti-Eviction Block Party on May 28

May 18, 2016

The Qilombo Collective reclaimed a plot of land on San Pablo and West Grand that had been neglected for decades and put a community garden on it. Recently, they have been ordered to move the garden, and the people feel like there should be space in the city for people to learn, organize and work free of corporate pressure. So the fight is beginning to take shape, and on May 28, everyone is invited to the Anti-Eviction Block Party at the Afrikatown Garden.

An architect’s rendering of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Will George Lucas build Star Wars memorabilia museum on Treasure Island Death Star?

May 18, 2016

We read with amazement Matier and Ross’ announcement in the Sunday, May 15, Chronicle that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is “in talks with George Lucas” about “housing his collection of illustrative art and Hollywood memorabilia” on “a site already approved for redevelopment on Treasure Island.” The genius who conceived the “Star Wars” saga must not yet know that the place is thoroughly saturated with weapons grade chemicals and radioisotopes with half-lives of never, like plutonium and cesium 137, and that the Navy is not doing a bang-up job of digging the poisonous stuff out.

At their huge May 9 rally, TWELF 2016 hunger striker Ahkeel Mestayer read their demands, concluding with the statement: “We are the Third World Liberation Front, the campaign to defend and advance ethnic studies and the historical organizations at San Francisco State University!” That’s Hassani Bell seated to the left of Ahkeel. – Photo: Steve Zeltzer, Labor Video Project

Hunger striker Hassani Bell speaks on the end of the Ethnic Studies hunger strike and what’s next

May 13, 2016

Block Report Radio interviews hunger striker Hassani Bell, one of four hunger strikers who were fighting to preserve and expand the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State. The hunger strikers were Hassani Bell, 18, Julia Retzlaff, 19, Sachiel Rose, 19, and Ahkeel Mestayer, 20, and their organization is called Third World Liberation Front 2016 in homage to the 1968 strike. After 10 days, many of the demands were met by the SF State administration of President Wong, but not all of them. The strike is suspended as the fight continues.

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Fellow journalist Joel Angel Juárez writes: “Photojournalist Gabriella Angotti-Jones, with El Tecolote and CCSF’s The Guardsman, gets shoved by San Francisco sheriff deputies while covering a protest at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, May 6, 2016. Angotti-Jones had her press credentials visible on her person. Angotti-Jones and three other journalists (including myself) were assaulted by SF deputy sheriffs while reporting during Friday’s ‪#‎Frisco5‬‬/ ‪#‎Frisco500‬‬/ ‪#‎hungerforjusticesf‬‬ protest.” – Photo: Noé Serfaty

Four journalists covering Frisco 500 City Hall occupation file brutality complaint against S.F. Sheriff’s Department

May 12, 2016

Four journalists filed official complaints on May 10 against the SF Sheriff’s Department charging they were intimidated and unlawfully roughed up while attempting to report on a May 6 protest inside City Hall that called for the firing of Police Chief Greg Suhr and the resignation of Mayor Ed Lee. Natasha Dangond and Gabriella Angotti-Jones are photographers for the City College campus newspaper, The Guardsman. Joel Angel Juárez photographs for the Mission neighborhood newspaper, El Tecolote. Sana Saleem is a reporter for 48Hills.

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Councilmember Jovanka Beckles

Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles: What really matters is improving the lives of Richmond residents

May 12, 2016

I have been consistent in my advocacy for improving the lives of Richmond residents, especially the disenfranchised. Bernie Sanders’ growing popularity shows us that the people want candidates with integrity. When Sen. Sanders visited Richmond, he did so because he knew that Team Richmond – Gayle McLaughlin, Eduardo Martinez and Jovanka Beckles – were candidates who were and will continue to be of the people, for the people and by the people.

Civil rights attorney John Burris counsels and comforts Gwen Woods, mother of Mario Woods, executed firing squad-style by five officers on Dec. 2, 2015. – Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP

As attorney John Burris reveals SFPD sergeant transferred to Bayview to ‘kill niggers,’ Supervisor Jane Kim calls for new police chief

May 11, 2016

“Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski, a 17-year department veteran, told fellow officers that he transferred to the Bayview Station in order to ‘kill niggers,’” reports civil rights attorney John Burris. “It is time to launch a search for a new chief who can implement fundamental reform,” announced Supervisor Jane Kim, “As long as Chief Suhr continues to lead this department,” says Kim, ”we will be unable to truly address the very serious problems raised by“ DA George Gascón’s Blue Ribbon Panel’s report.

During the Frisco 500 occupation of City Hall on May 6, a protestor prays for an end to police violence. – Photo: Sana Saleem

#Frisco500 shut down City Hall to stop police murders

May 9, 2016

Inspired by the stamina of the “Frisco 5” hunger strikers, hundreds of chanting supporters occupied the rotunda and grand staircase inside City Hall for seven hours on May 6. Their demand: “We won’t leave City Hall until the mayor fires Greg Suhr,” the top cop complicit in a string of police murders of Black and Brown people in the city. The movement to fire Chief Suhr, stubbornly resisted by the city’s political establishment, is nevertheless gaining momentum.

Teenage students in The Direction: Lowell High School Advocates perform “Take the DIS out of disability’ in the rain without a stage or sound system at the Cinco de Mayo Festival May 7 in San Francisco.

Against all odds: Teens advocate in the rain for disability rights & to redefine ‘beauty’

May 9, 2016

If you haven’t heard of The Direction: Lowell High School Advocates, it is a student-led organization, started in my program for individuals with learning differences at Lowell High School in San Francisco. The social movement curriculum I teach was designed to expose students to the social movements of the past, while helping them to draw connections to the current issues related to disability rights.

Hassani Bell, 18, the youngest of the four SF State students on hunger strike, grew up in East Oakland and went to San Leandro High School, where he took ethnic studies courses, KQED reports. “I hope I can do the same thing my teachers did for me – convince youth that their lives matter. It’s hard to believe you really mean something.” – Photo: Natalie Yemenidjian, KQED

UPDATE: Hunger strikers call to rally today 12:30 – SF State hunger striker Hassani Bell speaks on cuts to Ethnic Studies and aims of their movement

May 8, 2016

BlockReportRadio.com interviews SF State hunger striker and freshman Hassani Bell of the Third World Liberation Front 2016, on Day Seven of the hunger strike, about the gradual cuts to Ethnic Studies that the university administration has made over the years and TWLF ‘16’s demand to grant Ethnic Studies $8 million a year so it can thrive. He speaks on actor and former SF State student activist Danny Glover coming up to the university Monday at 12:30 p.m. to show his support for the strike.

Frisco 5 supporters, now dubbed the Frisco 500, fearlessly confronted a small army of deputies as they occupied City Hall for seven hours Friday, May 6, from about 4 to 11 p.m. – Photo: CBS News

#Frisco5 end hunger strike so they can join #Frisco500 in the struggle, call for general strike Monday, rally 8:30 am at City Hall

May 7, 2016

We, the people, invite you to join us for an unprecedented historical moment: a general strike of San Francisco this Monday, May 9, 2016. In honor of the Frisco 5 hunger strikers and against SFPD killings of our brothers, we urge you to strike from work and school and to boycott corporate stores and restaurants. Instead of going to work or school, join us to peacefully picket in front of San Francisco City Hall starting at 8:30 a.m.

Frisco 5 striker Sellassie rises from his wheelchair to demand the Board of Supervisors take action on police brutality and insist on the firing of Chief Suhr. The Frisco 5 and their supporters interrupted the  weekly meeting of the supervisors in their City Hall legislative chambers on Tuesday, May 3, after being rebuffed by the mayor. – Photo: Natasha Dangond, special to The Guardsman

Frisco 5 hunger strikers march to City Hall with hundreds of supporters, mayor a no show

May 6, 2016

The San Francisco hunger strikers dubbed the Frisco 5 rolled two miles to the doorstep of City Hall in wheelchairs on May 3, demanding the mayor fire San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, but the mayor was not there. The Frisco 5 had not eaten for 13 days while camped out in front of the Mission Police Station. After learning Mayor Lee was ignoring them, they were wheeled into the supervisors’ chamber, demanding the Board of Supervisors pass an emergency resolution to fire the police chief. Later, they rallied outside with a thousand supporters.

Frisco 500 take over City Hall 050616

Frisco 500 occupy City Hall to demand Mayor Lee fire Chief Suhr

May 6, 2016

In solidarity with the Frisco 5 hunger strikers, the Frisco 500 have reclaimed City Hall for the people of San Francisco who demand justice for the Black and Brown victims of the murderous SFPD. They will shut San Francisco down unless Mayor Lee fires Chief Suhr. The Frisco 500 held their ground inside City Hall until they were finally forced out by police after a long, loud, wild shoving match at 10:30 p.m. May 6. Our numbers are growing and we will no longer support a City Hall that puts profit over people. Watch interviews with Equipto and Sellassie on May 5, Day 15 of their hunger strike.

On May 3, the 13th day of their hunger strike, the Frisco 5, in wheelchairs pushed by the doctors and medical students who have been monitoring their health, march with a thousand supporters to City Hall for a showdown with Mayor Ed Lee, who ducked out. Ike Ali Pinkton is just out of camera range at the left. Selassie Blackwell was hospitalized the next day but was soon back with his comrades. – Photo: Mona Caron

The Frisco 5 statement on this afternoon’s phone call from Mayor Ed Lee plus new interview with Equipto

May 5, 2016

As a result of incredible pressure from the community, Mayor Lee finally contacted the Frisco 5 by phone. The Frisco 5 reiterated their one simple demand – fire Chief Greg Suhr. Mayor Lee told the strikers he would not fire the chief and he stood behind Chief Suhr’s record which includes the choking death of Mark Garcia in 1997, two demotions, the Fajitagate scandal, a personal harassment suit that cost the city millions, racist text messages exposed, a crime lab scandal and the murder of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Luis Gongora and many others.

Patrick Xu and friend, camping in Death Valley, use the survival skills they’ve learned by squatting – often without electricity and running water.

Patrick Xu of the Land Action 4 speaks on their case, human rights and squatter movements locally and internationally

May 3, 2016

The Land Action 4 are four people who were arrested after actively reclaiming neglected property. I was made aware of this case by housing activist Tim Killings, who organizes around housing rights in Oakland. I conversed with one of the members of the Land Action 4, Patrick Xu, about their case, their beliefs, human rights and the history of reclaiming property internationally. Check out Patrick Xu in his own words, and support the dropping of charges for the Land Action 4.

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The Frisco 5 hunger strikers, clockwise from top left, are Maria Cristina Gutierrez, 66, Ilyich “Equipto” Sato, 42, Selassie Blackwell, 39, Ike Pinkston, 42, and Edwin Lindo, 29. – Photos: Lola M. Chavez, Mission Local

Frisco 5 hunger strikers to SFPD: ‘Stop executing our people’

May 3, 2016

Five hunger strikers dubbed the Frisco 5 – angered by new police murders of Black and Brown people – have been occupying half the sidewalk in front of Mission Police Station since April 21. It’s Day 13 of their liquid-only fast and they’re losing weight, but they vow to keep it up until SF Police Chief Greg Suhr resigns or is fired. The Frisco 5 hunger strikers are Maria Cristina Gutierrez, 66, Ilyich “Equipto” Sato, 42, Selassie Blackwell, 39, Ike Pinkston, 42, and Edwin Lindo, 29.

Children’s Waiting Room staff gather at the Hall of Justice – from left, Maire Larkin, Dinky Manek Enty and Denise Bradford.

Tenacity turned into treasure at San Francisco courts’ Children’s Waiting Room

April 30, 2016

What began in 1991, thanks largely to the tenacious work of some women lawyers, eliminated the need for parents or guardian to panic when faced with the dilemma of having to do business in a San Francisco courthouse without childcare.
The Children’s Waiting Room is open and free for all who have court business in a San Francisco courthouse. They provide a safe place for infants, children and teens to have fun while their parents or guardian are doing business in the building.

People power – faculty, students and the public – can put “great futures” at the top of the priority list and force the administrators and regulators to restore and enhance the historic greatness of City College, the largest community college in California and one of the largest in the country. – Photo: Carl Finnamore

City College faculty strike for justice – to stop class reductions and pay cuts

April 28, 2016

After one frustrating year of union bargaining, AFT 2121 faculty at City College of San Francisco conducted a one-day unfair labor practice strike “of all classes at all 11 campuses” on April 27 because the administration has not been bargaining in good faith as it proposes “to shrink classes by 26 percent and lay off more than a quarter of the faculty.” These cuts are staggering.

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The Frisco 5 have been on hunger strike for over a week outside the Mission Police Station at 17th and Valencia, demanding that Mayor Ed Lee fire SFPD Chief Greg Suhr or resign. – Photo: Edwin Lindo

Hungry for justice: Equipto speaks for the Frisco 5 on hunger strike to demand SFPD Chief Suhr be fired or Mayor Lee resign

April 27, 2016

The latest front in the fight to fire SFPD Chief Suhr is a hunger strike outside the Mission Police Station led by rapper Equipto and his mother, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, whose idea it was back in 2014 when Alex Nieto was executed by SFPD. She says, “Enough is enough. I cannot live in this city anymore. I will not eat until the chief of police is gone.” Rapper Selassie is another of the Frisco 5, the moniker the press has given the hunger strikers, who have starved themselves for over a week.

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