Meet The People On Hunger Strike Outside Mission SFPD Station
Today marks Day 7 of a hunger strike intended to oust SFPD Chief Greg Suhr and Mayor Ed Lee. Chief Suhr was unavailable for interview for this article, he was busy yesterday with another sudden damage-control press conference over the release of his officers’ outrageously racist text messages. So instead, we talked to the hunger strikers outside the SFPD station, and got to know the people camping out in front of the station who have not eaten for a week in protest of the pattern of controversial police shootings of Luis Gongora, Mario Woods, Amilcar Perez Lopez and other San Francisco people of color.
There have been as many as 25 people hunger striking over the past week, but there are five core hunger strikers as part of this protest.
I just wanted to tell Mayor Lee something.. pic.twitter.com/e5aCjtSqLqBest Newsletter Ever!
Join our weekly newsletter so we can send you awesome freebies, weird events, incredible articles, and gold doubloons (note: one of these is not true).
— Equipto (@EQUIPTO) October 7, 2015
“Ilych Sato is his government name,” says Max, one of the managers of the hunger strike site. You know him better as Equipto, the rapper who told Ed Lee to his face that “You’re a disgrace to Asians. man.”
“It’s been too many incidents,” Equipto told BrokeAssStuart.com. “Mayor Lee employs Greg Suhr. Greg Suhr employs these officers that are still on the job, that have murdered Alex Nieto. The trial was found to be ‘not excessive force’, and is was 20-some shots. We’ve exhausted every avenue. We’ve gone to every DOJ meeting, we’ve sent letters to the OCC, we’ve interrupted inaugurations. We’re tired of it. That’s why we’re taking a stand to make sure there’s some daily action.”
EQUIPTO’S MOM (MARIA CRISTIINA GUTIERREZ)
Equipto’s mom’s ‘government name’ is Maria Cristina Gutierrez, and she’s the 66-year-old principal and executive director of the Compañeros del Barrio preschool in the Mission. She and her pre-schoolers were once forcibly removed by sheriff’s deputies from a Board of Supervisors meeting.
They were trying to deliver a poster to the Supervisors drawn by three- and four-year-olds.
Edwin Lindo is running for District 9 Supervisor, has a law degree and is a board member of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. He was hospitalized earlier in the hunger strike but that didn’t stop him.
“Edwin went to the hospital on Day 3, he’s back now,” Max told us. “He collapsed in my arms and I called 911.He passed the hump already. He’s no longer starving. He’s in much better spirits now.
“The first few days are the hardest. Then you hit this hump where your body stops being hungry.”
“Not eating is a trip,” local hip hop artist Sellassie Blackwell told 48 Hills. “We may be hungry, but we are not starving. Being out here, I think about people who are really starving and that I’ve been blessed my entire life with food.”
“I know that not every cop is a bad cop but they’re all part of the same brotherhood,” hunger striker Ike Pinkston told KTVU. “The good cops don’t speak up about the bad cops.”
The hunger strikers have had more than 200 protesters supporting them the last two nights, and could use donations of water, tea and blankets at 630 Valencia (at 17th St.)