Vancouver delegates from ILPS Canada attended the recent counter summit and mobilization against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, joining with activists to say No to APEC!
The APEC Summit was held in San Francisco, California from November 11 to 18, with ruling elites from the Asia-Pacific region in attendance conspiring to maintain super-profits off the labor of working people and accelerate the plunder of the Earth. As the hosting nation, the United States remained at the helm of this vehicle of dispossession, with President Biden participating in a desperate bid to maintain US hegemony in the world.
ILPS-US and fellow organizations convened the No to APEC Coalition to organize a week of programs with the theme “People and Planet Over Profit and Plunder!” Organizers showed a visible and unified counter-presence to the capitalist spectacle of APEC and participated in gatherings focused on sharing insight from anti-imperialist struggles around the world and shutting down the APEC proceedings.
The Vancouver delegates, including organizers from Anakbayan BC, Samidoun Vancouver, and United in Struggle, participated in the two weekend days of programming. On Saturday, November 11th the People’s Counter Summit Against APEC, was hosted at San Francisco State University. The summit included a keynote by Indigenous land defender Brandon Lee, a keynote panel, and workshop sessions focused on learning from and growing the people’s movement against neoliberalism and imperialism. Workshops brought up a variety of conversations about connecting struggles, including how to talk to family members about anti-imperialism and socialism, engaging with religious tradition in social movements, the role of universities in upholding neoliberalism, and connecting the environmental movement to the anti-imperialist struggle.
The Shut Down APEC Rally & March gathered at Embarcadero Plaza in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, November 12th and mobilized 10,000 people in the streets. During the rally, organizers took the mic to call for an end to the genocide in Gaza, and to combat the impacts of capitalist dispossession around the globe from defending homeless folks in the streets of San Francisco, to opposing neo-colonialism in Haiti. The march proceeded down Market Street with a large contingent from the Palestine solidarity movement, kasamas in the National Democracy movement for the Philippines, and indigenous activists from around the Asia-Pacific. Connecting these movements, youth, women, labor, and environmental contingents all marched together to the edge of the securitized zone where police presence prevented further access toward the Moscone Center where APEC meetings occurred.
The rest of the week organizers engaged in targeted action to shut down APEC Heads of State Summit. These actions included a 1,000 person blockage to disrupt traffic and prevent access to the entrance, as well as a shut down of the Bay Bridge, which lead to the arrests of around 100 activists.
Together as ILPS Canada delegates, we support the conclusions of the No To APEC Coalition Unity Statement, titled “People and Planet Over Profit and Plunder: Towards a World Beyond Profit-Oriented Systems!” And together we echo the No to APEC Coalition’s call, saying: “Wherever APEC goes, the people fight back, and wherever people are struggling for a brighter world, we’ll be there to join the fight!”