San Francisco Hunger Strike:
Rapper Equipto is back at it again in the political scene. His real name is Ilyich Sato and on Thursday, he will lead a small group in front of the Mission district police station and refuse to eat. apparently they will not leave until either Police Chief Greg Suhr or Mayor Ed Lee resign.
In the drastic decision for a San Francisco hunger strike, Equipto says “It’s time for a change and I want to be a part of that change. We’re going to stay as long as we can, until we can’t take it and until we get hospitalized. We’ve talked over this and discussed the situations.”
All of this controversy follows the fatal shooting of of Mario Woods on Dec. 2 that was video-recorded in the Bayview neighborhood. Activists have been upset since the killing of Luis Gongora in the Mission District on April 7 — as well as the killings of Alex Nieto in 2014 on Bernal Hill and Amilcar Perez-Lopez last year in the Mission.
Woods’ death thrust San Francisco into the national conversation on law enforcement reform, with the Police Commission moving to revise the department’s use-of-force policies to put an emphasis on de-escalation techniques. The U.S. Department of Justice’s community-policing division is conducting a collaborative review of the department at the behest of the chief and mayor.
Suhr and Ed Lee said they are definitely committed to seeking reforms that reduce police using force. Another idea was to build police-community relations, although critics want changes to be mandatory.
These efforts were taking shape when two officers fatally shot Gongora, a homeless man with a knife, near an encampment on Shotwell Street.
Lee’s spokesperson, Christine Falvey, said that under his direction, the police force and Police Commission “are moving faster and more dramatically to reform the department and its practices than any city in America.”
Below is video footage of one of the killings that has prompted this radical protest:
Edwin Lindo, a native of the Bernal heights neighborhood, is on the 76th hour of his hunger strike having started 24 hours before others.
Lindo was rushed off in an ambulance yesterday but refused to be taken to the hospital “I don’t have insurance and I remember having to pay for my grandmother’s insurance and the bill was thirty thousand dollars, they tried to tell me that wasn’t going to be the case. That we live in a city that has free healthcare, I told them that wasn’t the case” Lindo said. When Lindo refused to go to the hospital, SFFD staff left him on 18th and capp street to walk his way back. When you haven’t eaten in over 76 hours, walking down a block can be extremely exhausting, Lindo was already struggling with cramps.