SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — At least 100 protesters gathered at San Francisco’s City Hall earlier this morning to support the five hunger strikers, who are demanding that Mayor Ed Lee fire police Chief Greg Suhr.
Protesters have called for a citywide strike, asking residents not to go to work or school today and to abstain from purchasing food from corporate restaurants.
“Today we are going to practice our First Amendment right to peacefully protest because the mayor has disregarded the lives of the Frisco Five,” protestor and organizer Benjamin Bac Sierra said.
According to officials, supporters plan to surround City Hall throughout the day and expect hundreds more supporters to show up to honor the hunger strikers, who have called for Suhr’s dismissal following several recent police shootings in San Francisco.
Police officers and Sheriff deputies have increased their presence around the building. Additionally, metal barriers have been placed in front of the City Hall entrance on Carlton B. Goodlett Place and that entrance has been closed.
“Why not eat at corporate restaurants? Because the hunger strikers did without food for 18 days,” Bac Sierra said. “We have to show our economic power.”
The five hunger strikers were hospitalized Friday afternoon after doctors monitoring them advised them against continuing to abstain from food.They remain hospitalized this morning.
Today’s protest follows a larger gathering inside City Hall on Friday in which nearly 200 people refused to leave the building, and it resulted in dozens of arrests.
Additionally, City Hall sustained broken windows and damaged metal detectors during the protest, city officials said.
Bay City News contributed to this report.