November 21, 2023
From Popular Resistance

Above photo: Shut down APEC actions at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, CA – Nov 12 & 15th.

At the close of our People’s Counter Summit Against APEC, we issued a unity statement to summarize the positions of the No To APEC Coalition during our 2023 campaign culminating in the 800+ person Counter Summit.  The statement is titled “People and Planet against Profit and Plunder: Towards a World Beyond Profit-Oriented Systems!”

We publish this statement as the APEC Heads of State concluded their own Summit with the so-called “Golden Gate Declaration” to lay out the rosey-sounding false solutions they spent an entire year writing while desperately-needed practical policies for reversing the global economic, political and climate crises eluded them.

They tried to fool the people of the world by claiming to be “a vanguard of global growth” that would “unleash the enormous potential and tremendous dynamism across our region,” refusing to admit that the dynamism they refer to is actually the back-breaking labor power of billions of workers who were given no say in APEC gatherings.  They once again touted the “rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core,” failing to mention the corporate CEOs who wrote the “rules” of the system to begin with.

Their declaration ended with a message of, “thanks to the people and City of San Francisco and State of California for the warm welcome extended to us.”  The corporate puppets of San Francisco leadership may have laid out the red carpet to APEC this November, but the people had a different kind of welcome – we marched 10,000 strong against their opening day, shut down the entrances of the APEC CEO Summit for a number of hours and dogged down fascist heads of state like the Philippines’ Marcos, Japan’s Kishida, South Korea’s Yoon, Peru’s illegitimate Boluarte and even Biden himself with the united message, “War Criminals Out of SF!”

In contrast to the APEC Golden Gate Declaration, the No To APEC Coalition Unity Statement demonstrates what a united movement against imperialism and all profit-oriented systems looks like.  APEC’s 2023 theme was “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” but our unity has shown that we are more than resilient – we are relentless!  A sustainable planet can only come about through an organized people, and our statement lays out very clearly that while we have much to fight against, we are committed to fighting for the better world we all know is possible.

When discussing the statement at the close of the Peoples’ Counter Summit, attendees shared how they saw the words of the statement playing out in the work of their organizations that they invited others to support them in, including the fight for indigenous peoples resisting colonization and neo-colonization, student campaigns to divest universities from weapons and fossil fuels, the fight to defend Palestine, Haiti and other countries facing violent intervention, the defense of the Uhuru Three and all activists facing trumped up charges, and finally the preparations to support the fight against the APEC 2024 meeting cycle in Peru.

We have a lot of work to do to win a world beyond profit-oriented systems, but we’ve done so much together this year to set our fight up for success!  While the Biden administration hoped to showcase a completed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in its attempt to keep the US in its position of top plunderer of the world’s economy, our protests throughout the year successfully delayed IPEF’s completion for the time being!  Our movement has much to celebrate.

We hope you find as much inspiration in our No To APEC Unity Statement as we have found in our member organizations through our months-long campaign together.  Let’s keep up the fight and wield the full power of people and planet towards a world beyond profit-oriented systems!

No to APEC Coalition’s People Counter Summit at SFSU.

Unity Statement of the No to APEC Coalition

People and Planet Over Profit and Plunder!  Towards a World Beyond Profit-Oriented Systems! Peoples’ Counter Summit Against APEC – San Francisco, California – November 11, 2023

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) DO NOT represent the interests of the people or the planet. They exist to increase the profit-making of big business by giving its owners control over trade and employment laws, privileged access to key decision-makers, and the green light to make super-profits off of our labor and steal from our wages and livelihood.  APEC and IPEF lead to the wide scale plunder of much of the world’s resources, forced seizure of land and desecration of the environment to maximize the profit and power of big business and the ruling elite.

APEC gives the ruling elite and big business class all of this at the expense of the rest of us.  The people are time and time again excluded from APEC and the policies it decides on, so that this class can keep control of our livelihoods as our living conditions worsen. It’s time to fight back so we can win a better world, a world beyond APEC and other profit-oriented institutions!

WE FIGHT FOR a world where all workers have pay and workplace protection, where all working people have the right to unionize and organize, where value is what you contribute to the community, NOT a world where workers are surviving month-to-month, being left alone to challenge the bosses, or valued by how much you produce for corporate owners.

WE FIGHT FOR collective and community control of land, consistent and unconditional access to nutritious and affordable food, liveable housing and shelter for all, NOT foreign control through corporate takeovers, urban food deserts and agricultural monopolies in rural areas that feed profits over people, crumbling, unsafe and unaffordable living situations that favor real estate investment over peoples’ needs.

WE FIGHT FOR safe and breathable air, clean and healthy water and nutrient-rich soil, a stabilized climate system, and protection of biodiversity and the natural world, NOT for pollution and stripped land from corporate-negligence and plunder, business “resiliency” that prioritizes profit-driven mass extinction with a slow shift from fossil fuels for corporate monopolies while the people are hit with floods, droughts, heatwaves, superstorms and rising seas.

WE FIGHT FOR safe and empowered communities, just and lasting peace, social services like education, healthcare and safe infrastructure, NOT for police violence and harassment on behalf of big business, perpetual economic rivalry that fuels global military conflict, and endless military spending on wars of aggression for profit.

WE FIGHT FOR full transparency from our political leaders and to be active players in all decisions that affect us, for national liberation and self-determination for socio-economic development and an end to the racism, gender oppression and other social inequalities that follow the profit motive, and for international solidarity, NOT for economic deals prioritizing profit and plunder that fuel national oppression and imperialist globalization!

To achieve this world, these many fights must be united as one.  To wage this united fight against the profit-oriented system that APEC and IPEF are a part of, we must build a mass movement across all issues, generations and borders.  The No To APEC Coalition has been an example of such a movement, and the months-long campaign, counter summit and the actions we will take against the APEC heads of state are proof of the power we can have when we fight together.

The No To APEC Coalition thus resolves to:

  • Directly confront the APEC Heads of State Summit while it meets here in San Francisco and do what we can to SHUT IT DOWN!
  • Build unity between our struggles here in the US and international solidarity with other countries impacted by APEC and IPEF on issues of shared concern, including support for future anti-APEC actions in Peru 2024 and other countries in the years to come.
  • Continue to uplift the interests of people and planet over profit and plunder for the long term.  Wherever APEC and IPEF go, the people fight back, and wherever people are struggling for a brighter world, we’ll be there to join the fight!