After 14 days of hunger striking, Equipto speaks about the aims of SF5
by The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey
After hunger striking for 14 days, Equipto speaks on his health and the aims, objectives and tactics of a movement that is meant to get San Francisco Police Chief Suhr fired and is mushrooming into shutting down local government until Mayor Lee steps down also.
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The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’“ and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2“ and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe“ and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Frisco 5 statement on this afternoon’s phone call from Mayor Ed Lee
May 5, 2016 – As a result of the incredible amount of pressure from the community, Mayor Lee finally contacted the Frisco 5 directly by phone. The Frisco 5 responded to the call and reiterated their one simple demand to Mayor Lee. They demanded that he fire Chief Greg Suhr.
He told the strikers that he would not fire the chief and he stood behind Chief Suhr’s record. The mayor went as far as to defend the chief’s record – a record that includes the choking death of Mark Garcia at the hands of Greg Suhr in 1997. His record includes two demotions, the Fajitagate scandal, a personal harassment suit that cost the city millions, two cases of racist text messages being exposed, a crime lab scandal and the murder of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Luis Gongora and many others.
The mayor tried to defend himself by saying that he was working on reforms that are being implemented and he is trying to make progress with SFPD. His reactionary reforms for a department led by his scandal plagued appointee have come too late. They should have been implemented when his officers killed Kenneth Harding five years ago.
When told by the Frisco 5 that they were committed to strike until their demands were met, the mayor’s response was, “This is your choice … and whatever you do, I hope you take care of yourself.”
The Frisco 5 told him that their blood would be on his hands.
Lee’s empty words from an empty suit echo a city hall that cares more about money than they do about the Black and Brown community.
The Frisco 5 shall continue to fast until their demands are met. They ask that the community stand behind them and show Mayor Lee that there will be no business as usual until he fires Chief Suhr and steps down as mayor.
To reach the Frisco 5, contact spokesperson Yayne Abeba at email@example.com. Other contacts are Hunger for Justice SF on Facebook, @Hungerforjusticesf on Instagram and @hngr4justicesf on Twitter. Hashtags include #Frisco 5 and #hungerforjusticesf.
May 1, 2016 – On Day 10 of the Frisco 5 hunger strike, Gwen Woods spoke at a rally to support the hunger strike calling on Chief of Police Greg Suhr to step down. Gwen Woods is the mother of Mario, a young black man who was shot in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco on Dec. 2, 2015. She said: “Like what the emails and text messages say, we’re not dogs or animals … just ‘cause you might have a couple of bucks more than I have, I’m still as good as you. You don’t kill the homeless or the poor. He,” she said of her son, Mario Woods, “wasn’t even killed; he was executed!”
May 4, 2016 – Frisco 5 hunger strike Sellassie Blackwell mentions his San Francisco roots after marching to City Hall on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the 13th day of their action calling for Mayor Ed Lee to fire Police Chief Greg Suhr if he doesn’t resign.
May 2, 2016 – Mayor Ed Lee sneaked in the back door of the Mission police station earlier today and later left hiding behind police security. In response, one of the Frisco 5, Sellassie Blackwell, confronted the police officers.
May 3, 2016 – In her speech to the Board of Supervisors, Dr .Rupa Mayra, known as the singing doctor, told the audience she had to leave San Francisco because of the rising rents. She said police violence can impact public health like an epidemic. “How can it be that five of our fellow citizens are now willing to forfeit their very lives just to draw attention to this violence?” She asked the police officers to step forward and end the culture of silence. On finishing, the crowd chanted “Fire Chief Suhr.”
May 3, 2016 – A behind the scenes clip of the Frisco 5 moments before they entered City Hall today.