The Future of Democracy | Santiago Siri | TEDxStPeterPort

March 30, 2016

With the goal of improving the political system, a new kind of political party called The Net Party tried to hack it in Buenos Aires back in 2012. With the lessons of discovering how corrupt the system is, in 2015 a new strategy was designed with the support of Y Combinator. Democracy.Earth, a non-profit made to re-think democracy, was created to disrupt voting using the blockchain and other emergent new technologies.

Founder and president of Democracy Earth, a Y Combinator backed non-profit doing the largest global effort to deliver an open source solution to online voting. Founding peer of Partido de la Red (The Net Party), a political party that aims to improve representation with candidates committed to citizens requests online. An advocate for Bitcoin since 2011 helping startups, e-commerce sites and nonprofits to adopt it and a partner of, the largest Bitcoin exchange in Latin America. In 2007 founded Popego, a pioneering big data research lab acquired by Brazilian boo-box in 2011. Co-founded the Argentine Game Developers Association in 2001. Elected as Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. Contributes in radio and television evangelizing about the virtues of technology. His first book ‘Hacktivismo’ was published in 2015 by Random House.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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UPDATE – SF General Strike (from Adrienne Fong)

Update: According to Bob [of Occupy], at 8:00am this morning over 100 people started the picket line for the SF GENERAL STRIKE. The picket  has grown and are on the Polk St. and Van Ness sides – see Peter’s video from earlier today.

See you on the picket and at the Blue Ribbon Panel later!

Peter’s video from early this a.m.

General Strike in Honor of FRISCO5

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‘Frisco 5’ protesters call off hunger strike — by Examiner Staff (

Five hunger strikers (front, from left) Ike Pinkston, Edwin Lindo, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, Ilyich Sato and Sellassie Blackwell speak to the media during a news conference at the Black and Brown Social Club in San Francisco, Calif. Thursday, May 5, 2016. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

May 7, 2016

The five activists who refused to eat until San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr resigns or is fired called off their hunger strike Saturday after 17 days of abstaining from solid foods, a spokesperson for the group confirmed.

The so-called “Frisco 5” — Rappers Ilych “Equipto” Sato and Sellassie Blackwell, supervisor candidate Edwin Lindo, and pre-school workers Maria Cristina Gutierrez and Ike Pinkston — began their hunger strike April 21 in response to the fatal police shootings of four black and Latino men by San Francisco police in recent years.

They were hospitalized Friday for medical personnel to monitor their deteriorating health. Also on Friday, protests erupted inside City Hall that later turned violent and led to the arrest of 33 activists on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing and refusal to disperse. They have all reportedly since been released from custody.

The five hunger strikers called off their effort in response to pressure from community members who urged them to not further risk their health.

“This doesn’t mean that our fight is over,” said Yayne Abeba, a spokesperson for the hunger strikers. “It just means they will no longer be doing the hunger strike.”

Instead, the group is calling on the community to hold a citywide strike beginning at 8 a.m. Monday at City Hall. Abeba said the “general strike” includes not going to work, school or visiting businesses in an effort to essentially bring San Francisco to a halt.

Meanwhile, Friday’s protest left City Hall with smashed front windows and destroyed metal detectors at the side facing Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

“Thousands of peaceful individuals have long expressed their views in protest on our front steps,” City Administrator Naomi Kelly said in a statement. “However, [Friday’s] actions crossed the line, causing thousands of dollars in property damage and impacting weddings and elections activities.”

Repairs are slated to begin Monday. The full costs of the damage won’t be known until after the repairs are completed, but will likely cost thousands of dollars in labor and material costs due to the landmark status of City Hall, according to the city administrator’s office.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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Demonstration of Solidarity with Frisco Five
San Francisco City Hall
Monday, May 9th at 8:00  am

General Strike, San Francisco, Monday, May 9, 2016
Wear red and black in honor of our fallen brother Alex Nieto.
From CCSF Faculty Member Ben Bac Sierra:
With all your love, share far and wide:
We, the people, invite you to join us for an unprecedented historical moment: a general strike of San Francisco this Monday, May 9, 2016. In honor of the Frisco Five Hunger Strikers and against SFPD killings of our brothers, we urge you to strike from work and school and to boycott any corporate restaurant eating and purchasing.

The time is ripe, and your action is needed now. Because of the Mayor’s unwillingness to fire corrupt police chief Suhr, the Frisco Five have been forced to prolong their hunger strike and have now all been hospitalized. It is time for all of us to action with honor, courage, and sacrifice for those who no longer have a voice, like Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Mario Woods, and Luis Gongora Pat, all unlawfully killed by SFPD.

Instead of going to work or school, join us to peacefully picket in front of San Francisco City Hall starting at 8:00 a.m. Striking for a righteous cause is nothing new. Gandhi led the Swadeshi movement for Indian self-sufficiency. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott against segregation. For farmworkers’ rights, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers held strikes against grapes and Safeway stores. Striking is a successful strategy that all of us can contribute to for the sake of justice.

With all your love, share and share far and wide.
For more background:

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Action Council — Info on Mon. GENERAL STRIKE; Related Events; Actions; Videos & Articles from Friday (from Adrienne Fong)


In Honor of the FRISCO FIVE

Monday, May 9, 2016  

8:00am – 5:00pm

San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place, SF


We, the people, invite you to join us for an unprecedented historical moment: a general strike of San Francisco. In honor of the Frisco Five Hunger Strikers and against SFPD killings of our brothers and sisters, we urge you to strike from work and school and to boycott any corporate restaurant eating and purchasing. 

Your action is needed now. Because of the Mayor’s unwillingness to fire corrupt police chief Suhr, the Frisco Five have been forced to prolong their hunger strike and have now all been hospitalized. It is time for all of us to action with honor, courage, and sacrifice for those who no longer have a voice: Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Mario Woods, Luis Gongora Pat. And All unlawfully killed by SFPD.

Pack a lunch and bring water We will constantly be peacefully picketing and advising people to boycott business at City Hall. Lastly bring the positive spirit of amor!

CALL / Email Mayor Ed Lee: Demand that he FIRE CHIEF SUHR

Mayor Ed Lee’s Office Phone Number: (415) 554-6141

Related Events this Week

May 9, Tuesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Final Hearing of the Blue Ribbon Panel

Buriel Clay Theater
African American Arts Complex
762 Fulton St.

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement was established last year by the San Francisco District Attorney to investigate potential institutionalized bias within the San Francisco Police Department in the wake of reports that fourteen SFPD officers sent and received racist and homophobic text messages.

The panel’s working groups will present summarized preliminary findings and recommendations from their investigation, followed by public comment. 

Info / RSVP:

May 11, Wednesday, 5:30pm, SF Police Commission Meeting

SF City Hall, Room 400 (4th Flr.)
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place

Come and speak-out at the meeting!

On the agenda is: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Memorandum and Suggestions on Use of Force draft policies (DISCUSSION)

Wednesday’s Agenda:

CALL the SF POLICE COMMISSION, the oversight body of the SFPD that has authority to fire Chief Suhr, and tell them they need to fire Chief Suhr, and to put this on their next meeting agenda

 .  San Francisco Police Commission:  (415) 553-1667

See:  § 4.109.

“…Notwithstanding any other provision of the Charter, the Chief of Police may be removed by the Commission or the Mayor, acting jointly or separately of each other. In addition to any other powers set forth in this Charter, the Police Commission is empowered to prescribe and enforce any reasonable rules and regulations that it deems necessary to provide for the efficiency of the Department… “

May 11, Wednesday, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Vigil for Amilcar! The DA must charge the officers who killed him!

Mission Police Station
630 Valencia St.

Fifth silent vigil as we wait and watch for the DA to file charges against the officers who killed Amilcar.


May 11, Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Hungering for Justice: Prayer Vigil in Support of FRISCO5

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place (stairs of City Hall)

NOTE: This is a rapidly evolving situation. Please check site for final details as Wednesday draws nearer.

The #Frisco5 are risking their health and even their lives to save others. They are fasting to bring accountabilty to the San Francisco Police Department, which is notorious for its racism and brutality against people of color and poor people in this rapidly gentrifying city. Under Police Chief Greg Suhr, four men of color have been killed in the past two years, and many have been brutalized. The hunger strikers are calling for a change of leadership to signal that the city values the lives of all its residents. Their demand is simple: Fire Chief Suhr.

Info / RSVP:

May 12, Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Justice 4 Mario Woods Coalition Meeting

350 Rhode Island St. (entrance on Kansas St.)

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General strike Monday May 9 (from Patricia Gray)

Don’t go to work… Don’t go to school… Don’t go shopping….

     all  day  starting at 8:00
     Wear  black and red to support the FRISCO 5
                                                      Hunger Strikers    
     and to honor our fallen  brothers
                Alex Niento, Amicar Perez, Mario Woods
                         and Luis Gongora Pat
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Voter Suppression Screwed Bernie, and Will Screw Dems in November if Left Unchecked

America’s Lawyer, Mike Papantonio, appears on RT’s Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp to discuss the voter suppression tactics that have been at play in the past couple of months, and the impact it has had for both the Bernie Sanders campaign and democracy in general.

Spread the word! LIKE and SHARE this video or leave a comment to help direct attention to the stories that matter. And SUBSCRIBE to stay connected with Ring of Fire’s video content!

Follow more of our stories at

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SF Mission Hunger Strikers Fail to Meet Mayor, Heated Exchange with Supervisors Follows — by Joe Rivano Barros and Laura Waxmann (


The “Frisco Five” being pushed in wheelchairs to city hall on Tuesday. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

May 3, 2016

A group of five wheelchair-bound hunger strikers and hundreds of their supporters marched from the Mission District to city hall on Tuesday hoping to meet Mayor Ed Lee and call on him to fire Police Chief Greg Suhr. The mayor, however, was elsewhere.

With a crowd of some 800 people supporters at city hall, some 100 went inside with the hunger strikers and congregated outside the mayor’s office, where Diana Oliva-Aroche, a mayoral aide, said the mayor would be unable to meet the protesters because he was in the Bayview.

That prompted scorn from Maria Cristina Gutierrez, 66, who said the aide —  who is Latina — should be ashamed to “serve such an administration, the people that have been having our people murdered” because she is a person of color.

Christopher Muhammad, a minister with the Nation of Islam and an organizer with the Mario Woods Coalition, said the mayor should return to city hall and meet with the protesters.

“Why don’t you call the mayor, tell the mayor that the hunger strikers are at his door, since Bayview is only 10 minutes away, he can come here out of respect?” he said to loud applause.

Shortly before she left, Oliva-Aroche replied that she did not have the mayor’s phone number, which drew much criticism from the crowd as well as the strikers.

“How can you tell me that you don’t have your boss’ number?” Ike Pinkston, one of the five original hunger strikers camped out in front of Mission police station at 17th and Valencia streets since April 21, asked in disbelief.

Pinkston said that while he and the other four strikers did not think that Lee would get behind their demands of firing Chief Suhr on the spot, he did believe that the mayor would meet the strikers, who have been fasting for almost two weeks. “I thought that he at least would hear us out and that we could express to him how we feel. He’s a coward.”

The day before the protest, Lee attempted to meet with the protesters by coming to the Mission District police station unannounced, a move that drew scorn from strikers who said they would not meet him. Strikers said they would rather meet with Lee in city hall after their march.

“He’s got to do better than that slippery sliding act,” said Pinkston. “He wants to avoid the media and we know that this is why he pulled that stunt.”

As the doors to the mayor’s office remained shut, the hunger strikers then opted to address the Board of Supervisors, who were simultaneously in session. Flowing into the board’s meeting chambers, protesters shouted at supervisors and called them sellouts while the supervisors defended their record of police reform.

Supervisor David Campos at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meting addressing the protesters. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District, and hunger striker Edwin Lindo, who is seeking to replace him, had a testy exchange.

“The idea that you fire Chief Suhr and that solves things, I’m sorry, that’s not what I believe,” said Campos to loud jeers from the crowd. “We need to change the entire system. It’s not just about who the chief of police is, it’s about how this department sees itself.”

“David, we’re not stupid, we understand how policy works,” retorted Lindo, a former intern for the supervisor who is running against Campos’s current chief of staff, Hillary Ronen. “David, you never came to us, you never asked us what we were doing—”

“I came to you, I have come twice, and the difference is this, that I’m fighting for police reform ever since I got to San Francisco,” responded Campos. “Where have you been?”

“He’s been on hunger strike! He hasn’t eaten in 13 days!” shouted Benjamin Bac Sierra, an organizer with the Justice for Alex Nieto Coalition, as the crowd booed Campos.

Hunger striker Sellassie Blackwell, standing up from his wheelchair and yelling at Campos, blamed him for not responding strongly enough to the police shootings in his district and said the strikers understood that firing the chief would not solve the police department’s systemic issues.

“We’re not idiots, we know that the police department needs reform,” he said. “But it’s a symbol for the people to get that racist piece of shit out of office.”

Sellassie Blackwell addressing the Board of Supervisors. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Maria Cristina Gutierrez addressing the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Speakers continued the back-and-forth with supervisors for some 30 minutes as the hunger strikers sat in their wheelchairs before the supervisors, sipping water and visibly exhausted. At 4:30 p.m., they were wheeled out as a few dozen protesters continued addressing the supervisors, calling for the firing of the police chief.

The Hunger Strikers

The five hunger strikers — known as the Frisco Five — have been going without solids for almost two weeks and say they’ll continue until the mayor fires Chief Suhr. The group drinks water, juices, chicken broth, and a daily dose of vitamins for sustenance and have had blood work and vitals monitored by different doctors.

The hunger strike was sparked by the fatal police shooting of 45-year-old homeless man Luis Gongora in the Mission District last month and a slew of other scandals, including the finding of racist text messages sent by police officers. They chose to stage the strike at Mission Station because three of the four most controversial recent police shootings have occurred in or near the neighborhood.

Maria Cristina Gutierrez speaking to Edwin Lindo during Tuesday's march. Photo by Laura Waxmann.

On Tuesday, Ilych Sato — a rapper and hunger striker better known by his stage name Equipto — said he was angry at the mayor for causing his mother to suffer. His mother — 66-year-old Maria Cristina Guiterrez — is also on hunger strike with him outside the police station.

“The more the mayor makes my mother upset, the angrier I get,” he said. “We are going there in wheelchairs to preserve our strength because we know that whether or not the meeting happens, the strike will continue.”

The March

The crowd gathered outside of the station at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Police Captain Daniel Perea said officers would clear the roadways to city hall, before hunger strikers and their supporters addressed the crowd.

“We still believe that it’s possible to meet with Mayor Lee,” said Gutierrez. “Your strength has made us be able to go without eating. We are cleaning ourselves of the dirt and hate they have put on our community to murder our children.”

“I feel like we are being terrorized by the biggest gang in California,” said Cat Brooks, co-founder of the Anti-Police Terror Project.

The five hunger strikers were then put in wheelchairs and pushed by medical students from the University of California at San Francisco, who were there to monitor the strikers’ health.

“Our role as physicians in training is to support the overall health of the community,” said medical student Joshua Connor, who is a representative of the organization White Coats for Black Lives. “San Francisco is hurting and we are here to support the strikers in their physical health and in their movement.”

Connor and others pushed the five strikers throughout the entirety of the march, ensuring that they remained “hydrated and in good spirits.” Their supervisor, Dr. Rupa Marya, later addressed the Board of Supervisors at city hall, calling the combination of “racism, police violence, and impunity” a public health hazard in need of immediate attention.

“We have vaccinations for the flu, but there is no reliable public health data on police killings,” said Marya. “I urge you to see every police shooting as a public health issue. Police, like doctors, have lives in their hands.”

The march started northbound on Valencia Street and veered onto Mission Street near 1:30 p.m., headed towards city hall.

Chants of “Fire Chief Suhr” and “No justice, no peace” accompanied the crowd as it moved down Mission Street with a police escort. A human chain formed around the wheelchair-bound hunger strikers as protesters began chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”

“I’m holding hands with people I’ve never met out of solidarity and to protect the Frisco Five,” said Mike Evans, who, by linking hands with other marchers, shielded the strikers as they were escorted down one of the city’s busiest streets. “This is the best day of San Francisco history.”

At city hall, the hundreds-strong march meet other protesters amassed in front of the city hall steps and grew to more than 800. Long lines of protesters created a walkway for the hunger strikers leading up to the front steps, where banners were held and the crowd continued to chant for the firing of the police chief.

Outside city hall after the march, the five strikers addressed some 100 remaining supporters and pledged to continue without food until the chief loses his job. Gutierrez said the lack of action from the Board of Supervisors convinced her that the time for talking was over.

“They did not respond, so there will be no more negotiation, no more talking to these people, but only a constant struggle not only by those who are not going to eat, but all of those are who are going to follow the mayor…and tell him that he has to fire that chief of police,” she said.

Edwin Lindo outside city hall after Tuesday's march. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Photo by Lola M. Chavez

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OccupyForum presents . . . “You’re Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution” with Ahmed Salah (on Monday, May 9)

Monday, May 9th from 6 – 9 pm at Global Exchange

2017 Mission Street near the 16th Street BART station

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues!

OccupyForum presents…

“You’re Under Arrest for Masterminding

the Egyptian Revolution”

With Ahmed Salah

Ahmed Salah was imprisoned, tortured and nearly killed by the Egyptian authorities. After making it out of the country he was born in, by sheer luck, Salah’s memoir of co-designing and implementing the Egyptian revolution during the “Arab Spring” was published on April 4th, 2016. Salah will discuss his newly released book, and field questions and dialogue.

“An important inside account and analysis by one of the principal strategists of the Egyptian revolution; frank in regard to the movement’s failures, but ultimately hopeful in the eventual triumph in the struggle for democracy.”

— Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics & Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco

“At once tragic and inspiring, shrewdly insightful and intimately personal, this deeply moving book should be read widely and closely by everyone seeking to understand the successes and failures of political protest in Egypt since 2003 – or the broader reasons why activist movements surge and subside.”

— Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!
Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue on all sides of these critically important issues.

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“25 arrested as police clash with ‘Frisco Five’ hunger strike supporters occupying SF city hall” by Tom Boggioni (


Police in San Francisco arrested at least 25 protesters Friday night as supporters of five jailed hunger strikers attempted to occupy city hall, KGO is reporting.

Five demonstrators — dubbed the “Frisco Five” — have been refusing to eat until San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr resigns or is fired amid charges of police brutality. The five were moved to a hospital on Friday due to their deteriorating health.

The hunger strike began April 21 to protest two recent police shootings of men of color in the city’s Mission District. The strikers also cited recent revelations that San Francisco police officers have been exchanging racist and anti-LGBT text messages.

The hunger strikers are Ike Pinkston, 42, Sellassie Blackwell, 39, Edwin Lindo, 29, Maria Gutierrez, 66 and her son Ilyich Sato, 42.

Earlier in the evening protesters chanted outside the office of Mayor Ed Lee, calling on him to fire Suhr as well as turn in his own resignation.

When riot-gear clad police tried to force the protesters out of San Francisco City Hall when it closed at eight, skirmishes broke out with police pushing and shoving as protesters locked arms and refused to leave.

During the melee, a metal detector was knocked over and used to prop a door open so that more protesters could continue to enter the closed building.

According to the protesters, they will be out in force this weekend either at city hall or at the Mission District police station.


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