Anti-APEC activists protest despite gov’t ban
A representative from Kilusang Mayo Uno expressed his complaints during the program proper of the rally against the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) Summit held in the country. • Photo by Jerome Quinto
Filipino and foreign activists, led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), defied the Philippine government’s strict implementation of “no permit, no rally” policy when they marched at Manila on November 19 to protest against the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
The groups also criticized the security preparations for APEC, including the cancellation of more than 1,300 flights, detention of street dwellers, and closure of several main roads.
According to Bayan Secretary General Renato M. Reyes, Jr., “The APEC in Manila is an expensive and burdensome going away party for President Benigno Aquino III.” He added that they detest how Filipinos are degraded, while Aquino shows off his regime’s alleged gains to foreign investors.
He said the APEC only benefits the developed countries, causing severe unemployment, migration, depressed wages, and degradation of the environment in developing countries like the Philippines.
“Rightly called an ‘APEC fail’, the people demand a new economic framework that puts national interest and the people ahead of corporate profits,” he said.
Reyes furthered that the United States is using the APEC as a platform to justify the increased US military presence in the region.
During the rally, protesters also burned an effigy of a vulture dressed in the colors of the US flag, which they described as a symbol of the APEC as a predatory character that picks the flesh off developing countries.