In the long tradition of art activism in the Bay Area, local musicians, performers and visual artists have been supporting the Frisco Five hunger strike and ongoing street mobilizations against police shootings.
“Art is a strong reflection of who we are and our times,” says actor and spoken word artist Paul Flores, who recently performed a pop-up version of his solo show about gentrification in the Mission District outside the San Francisco Police Department’s Mission Station.
Throughout the 17-day strike that ended May 7, 2016, other artists visited the station where the strikers camped out, from Oakland hip-hop artist Boots Riley showing his support to Grammy-nominated musician John Calloway staging an impromptu Latin jazz performance. Meanwhile, outside San Francisco City Hall, printmakers Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza created eye-catching posters for a protest.
Artists have vowed to keep up the pressure for the removal of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. After the preliminary findings of a blue-ribbon panel of judges investigating bias in the police force were released Monday, four San Francisco supervisors have also called for Suhr’s resignation.