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APEC Summit In San Francisco Met With Mass Protests

Ten thousand take to the streets in protest of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meetings taking place in San Francisco this week.

10,000 people took to the streets on Sunday, November 12 to protest the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meetings taking place in San Francisco this week. The APEC summit will run from November 11 to 17. The protest took place following a 1,000-person APEC counter-summit on November 11. The mobilizations have been organized by the No to APEC Coalition, which represents almost 150 organizations across the United States. 

“APEC is the epitome of all that is wicked and corrupt in our society today,” said Simon Ma, a family doctor and member of the anti-imperialist Korean-American organization Nodutdol. He described APEC as a “cabal of billionaires and politicians scheming behind closed doors, trying to come up with new and innovative ways to further exploit the working class of our planet.” 

Violette Mansour from the Palestinian Youth Movement said of APEC, “They are conspiring to figure out how they can make a profit off of the death of our people, how to make a profit off the plunder of our land.”

Protesters called out US President Joe Biden, who will be attending the APEC summit, and the US government as a whole, for its support for Israeli genocide in Gaza. Protesters chanted, “from Palestine to the Philippines, stop the US war machine!” 

San Francisco community organizations have also decried the heavy police presence and homeless encampment sweeps that the San Francisco police have implemented ahead of APEC. 

“In the lead up to APEC we have seen homeless sweeps and perimeter fencing go up. As always, the City is prioritizing the safety of CEO billionaires while threatening the safety of its most vulnerable residents,” said Joemae Santos, point person of MalayaSF, which organizes against human rights violations in the Philippines. “Those of us who plan to peacefully protest APEC’s free trade policies are also worried about the heightened militarization and police presence which impedes our first amendment rights.”

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