APEC: Who is Prioritized?

These articles are reprinted from Speak Out’s workplace newsletter at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and focus on the impacts of this conference which happen at the expense of BART workers and ordinary people in the San Francisco community.


Top executives of major corporations and politicians, including President Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the president of the Philippines and others are coming to San Francisco for the APEC, (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) meetings.

What’s this about? It’s a meeting of those who control and direct the economies of 21 nations in the Pacific Rim. It is a meeting of those who are involved in the systematic exploitation of the resources and workers of these countries.

That’s what is being discussed and planned here. And they are disrupting part of the city – from the Embarcadero to Nob Hill, to the Legion of Honor, to the area around the Moscone Center.

Their meetings may be disrupted by people demonstrating against these gatherings. And for good reason. It is because those demonstrating are against the continued planning of the devastation of people’s lives and the environment of the countries of the Pacific Rim.

Cleaning and Clearing

The city officials have been busy giving orders to clean the city up for the wealthy APEC visitors. They wouldn’t want them to see the collateral damage of the economic and social system they control. They might be upset by an open display of poverty, addiction to street drugs, dirty streets and sidewalks, graffiti, and other signs of city life. More than $20 million has been spent on this. Cleaning crews have been sent to areas where these people of privilege are scheduled to go – shining this and power cleaning that. And “clearing.” “Clearing” means pushing people who are unhoused off the streets where they have ended up to someplace else. That fits right into the APEC model – “clearing” shanty towns, clearing forests, pushing whatever they want to wherever they want.

No Respect

When we see what APEC is about, no wonder BART workers in the downtown San Francisco stations weren’t told anything about preparations for the conference until a couple days before it started.

After all, that’s what this conference is about – a disrespect for working people and the Earth.