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San Francisco Hunger Strikers Hospitalized, Promise to Keep Protesting

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The hunger strikers known as the Frisco 5 (Claudia Escobar/KQED)

The five activists known as the “#Frisco5” that have been on a hunger strike for 16 days in front of the Mission District police station in San Francisco were hospitalized Friday, though the strikers promises to continue their protest while receiving medical treatment. All five have been taken to an unknown location.

The announcement comes only a few days after one of their members, Sellassie Blackwell, was taken to USSF Medical Center for a checkup. Blackwell was released hours later.

“They’re not giving up,” supporter Victor Picazo told the San Francisco Chronicle this afternoon. “They’re just too sick to be out here.”

The protestors have been calling for San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to resign over the series of local fatal police shootings that have occurred over the past two years.

Since they began their strike on April 21, the group has drawn significant media coverage, which resulted in a discussion over the phone with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee earlier this week. But according to the group’s spokesperson, Yayne Abeda, Lee told the strikers that he continues to support Suhr and would not ask him to step down.

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“The Frisco5 shall continue to fast until their demands are met,” Abeda wrote in a statement after the talk with Lee. “They ask that the community stand behind them and show Mayor Lee that there will be no business as usual until he fires Chief Suhr and steps down as Mayor.”

Doctors have been regularly checking on the strikers, who are subsisting on a diet of chicken broth and coconut water.

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