While the five hunger strikers demanding that Mayor Lee fire Chief Suhr have been planning to visit City Hall tomorrow and demand parley with him according to 48 Hills, it appears that the mayor visited the site of their protest today and was confusingly rebuffed in his attempt to engage the protestors.
Led by local rapper Ilych "Equipto" Sato and his mother Maria Cristina Gutierrez, who is 66 years old, the hunger strikers, now calling themselves the Frisco Five, have spent 12 days without food. Their demand for Suhr's removal stems from a number of SFPD shooting that have taken the lives of black and brown men, most recently that of Luis Gongora, homeless man living in the Mission. Their outrage is further accentuated by the ongoing racist police texting scandal.
They have announced their plan to go to City Hall Tuesday, and 48 Hills guesses they may do so in wheelchairs for full dramatic effect.
According to Mission Local's coverage, Lee entered the Mission District police station unannounced via a side door just after noon Monday. Inside, Gutierrez, who has apparently been granted access to the station's bathroom, which was previously a sticking point, spotted Lee on her way out, suggesting he was trying to "sneak" on them.
“I did not let him talk because I need the five together in order to meet with him,” she tells Mission Local. Per that publication, "the strikers said they would not meet with the mayor “on his terms," and instead plan their effort for tomorrow.
Ed Lee is here at the station! 17th & Valencia! We told him we demand to meet tomorrow 2pm! Everyone come here if you can!! He's inside now!— Equipto (@EQUIPTO) May 2, 2016
"The mayor went out there, he rearranged his schedule today, wanted to make himself available, and they refused to meet with him,” mayoral spokesperson Christine Falvey said. “He really wanted to go out and offer to meet with them one-on-one or as group with no conditions, to hear them out, and to tell them about [police] reform efforts.”
The mayor stayed in the station, attending meetings for about half an hour, before leaving as he came in, through a side door to the parking lot.
"You let us starve out here for 12 days," Sellassie Blackwell, who is among the hunger strikers, reportedly shouted. How dare you, blood?”
“We’re 12 days into starvation," Edwin Lindo, another striker and a District Nine supervisorial candidate, shouted through a bull horn. "You know what that says to us? You didn’t care,”
According to Falvey, Lee has been monitoring the hunger strike since its announcement, and had gotten wind of the plan for tomorrow, thus attempting the meeting Monday.
Update: The mayor's appearance at Mission Station is looking more and more like political theater of his own, as this (apparently staged) photo appears with a C.W. Nevius column Tuesday, trying to suggest that the activists have won, police reforms are happening, and that they're all just stubbornly calling for Chief Suhr to still be fired.