- The demonstrators tried to block people from attending the summit
- They are protesting the war in Gaza and the oil industry
- The CEOs of Microsoft , Google and Salesforce are some of the high-profile guests at the summit on Wednesday
Hundreds of anti-oil, pro-Palestine protesters clashed with riot police outside the APEC summit in San Francisco ahead of president Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping‘s widely anticipated meeting on Wednesday.
A motorcade of around ten vehicles was stuck in front of a human barricade as police officers in riot gear tried to control the crowd of demonstrators on Fifth Street near Mission.
The demonstrators, wearing yellow vests, tried to block people from attending the CEO summit at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum but were unsuccessful as attendees entered through an alleyway.
‘We won’t allow genocide to be normalized,’ an organizer with the No APEC Coalition told the the San Francisco Standard.
The protesters chanted: ‘Biden, Biden telling lies, you don’t care if the planes dies’ and ‘shut down APEC.’
The group is protesting corporate profits, environmental abuses, poor working conditions, the Israel-Hamas war and capitalism at large.
The protesters have been yelling at summit attendants as they head inside the event for CEOs, telling them not to enter.
Meanwhile Biden and Jingping are scheduled to meet at the Filoli country estate in San Mateo county, about 25 miles from San Francisco.
The two leaders, who last spoke a year ago, are hoping to stabilize U.S.-China relations after a period of tumult. Biden has said he is also prepared to confront his counterpart on difficult issues such as trade, Beijing’s burgeoning relationship with Iran and human rights concerns.
The outcome of the talks between two leaders who have known each other for decades could have far-reaching implications for an anxious world that is grappling with global economic cross currents from the pandemic, wars in the Middle East and Europe, upcoming elections in Taiwan and more.
The No APEC Coalition has described the summit as ‘an exclusive and elitist Country club of the rich representing the interests of big business,’ as reported by SF Gate.
The group said on its website: ‘We oppose APEC as a forum for corporations and institutions to push so-called “free trade” to exploit their workers and put the benefits of corporations over the rights of nations and peoples.
‘APEC promotes so-called “free trade,” which in reality means driving down wages, stealing land from peasants and indigenous people, driving forced migration, destroying the environment, plundering natural resources, and pumping up corporate profits.’
San Francisco officials conducted a massive clean-up in the lead up to the event so world dignitaries don’t have to interact with the homeless during the APEC trade summit.
The unprecedented measures were designed to present a clean and shiny image during the summit, the city’s biggest gathering of global leaders since 1945, and prevent the sorts of street spectacles that have battered the city’s reputation.
The conference kicked off on Saturday and will run through November 17.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen greeted Chinese leader Xi Jinping as he exited his airplane on Tuesday.
Activists protesting corporate profits, environmental abuses, poor working conditions and the Israel-Hamas war also marched in downtown San Francisco on Sunday.
They’re opposed to the framing of ‘supposed “clean” and “green” economies that are really propping up corporate profits,’ said Nik Evasco, an organizer with the climate block of the No to APEC coalition.
‘Any time there are so-called free trade deals, what we’ve seen historically is that it’s really about opening up pristine lands that go toward making money for corporations,’ Evasco said.
APEC, a regional economic forum, was established in 1989 and has 21 member countries, including the world’s two largest economic superpowers — China and the U.S — as well as Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines.