Frisco Five Hunger Strike: What You Need To Know About This Growing Movement

By Alexandra Van Erven

Even though it didn’t make national headlines, something really important happened in San Francisco over the course of the last few weeks.

Major protests have rocked the Bay Area after five local activists endured a 17 day hunger strike in an effort to force out San Francisco’s police chief.

The chief in question, Greg Suhr was accused by the strikers of not being responsive to the concerns of members of minority communities after a series of police involved shootings.

The hunger strike ended last week after doctors implored the strikers to stop it for their own health and safety, but the movement to reform the city continues.

Last Monday, May 9, nearly 100 impassioned citizens of San Francisco took to the streets in front of City Hall, calling for the resignation of Suhr.

The protesters circled the city hall roughly a dozen and a half times, doing so for the protesters who had to make sacrifices such as not eating for nearly two and a half weeks.

“One for every day the hunger strikers did not have food in their bodies,” Benjamin Bac Sierra, one of the organizers said according to ABC 7 News.

The Frisco Five protesters had been at it for 17 days and had camped out in front of the Mission District police station, going days without food and without shopping in order to protest police brutality, killings, and racism.

Police also allegedly injured four journalists who were covering the protests, further escalating the situation:

These protests seem to be having some of the desired effects, with multiple sources claiming that San Francisco supervisors Jane Kim, David Campos, Eric Mar and John Avalos are all calling for Suhr to be replaced, therefore becoming the first San Francisco elected officials to do so.  

“Chief Greg Suhr has served San Francisco for over 30 years and we should thank him for that service,” Jane Kim said in a press release. “But even he must acknowledge that leading a culture shift in that department would be easier and faster if there was new leadership there.”

And the Mayor of San Francisco has called for more money to fund police reforms. However, the hunger strikers do not seem to feel like that is a real fix for the problems gripping the city: 

RISE NEWS will continue to monitor further developments as this story progresses. 

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

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