The International League of Peoples’ Struggle – US Country Chapter (ILPS-US) congratulates its members and fellow organizations of the No To APEC Coalition for a successful campaign against the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2023 meeting cycle. The campaign included many months of coalition building, political education, mass outreach, on-the-ground mobilizations in multiple cities (especially against the APEC ministerial meetings this May in Detroit and this July/August in Seattle), and careful logistical planning culminating in a week of action against the APEC Heads of State Summit in San Francisco.
We celebrate along with all members of the No To APEC Coalition the success of holding a 800+ person anti-APEC Counter Summit, a 10,000 person rally and march to the gates of the APEC Exclusion Zone, direct actions causing disruptions and delays to the APEC CEO Summit and Studies Consortium, as well as many actions against 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!” ILPS-US is proud to have also supported the many actions for a Free Palestine while APEC heads of state were in town, including the shut down of the Bay Bridge leading to the arrests of around 100 courageous activists. Truly, peoples’ struggle was alive and strong in San Francisco Nov. 11-18!
While the No To APEC campaign comes to a close, we must be ready to keep up the momentum – APEC may be departing the US to prepare for Peru’s APEC 2024, but the profit-oriented imperialist system remains, and we are in the belly of the beast. With renewed vigor, ILPS organizations must be ready to pick up the pace to Defend Peoples’ Struggle against this dying, desperate US empire leading the world towards more war and destitution as it falls from its decades of world supremacy.
This desperation is on full display in the APEC “Golden Gate Declaration,” the attempted victory statement of the heads of state after another year of hollow promises and neoliberal scheming behind closed doors kept safe by US police forces.
In this declaration, 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 profit-driven corporate CEOs who wrote the “rules” of the system to begin with.
They touted the rosy-sounding false solutions of “resiliency, sustainability, interconnection, innovation and inclusion” that APEC has been spouting all year. But history shows that under imperialism, “resiliency” is only meant for the monopoly capitalist class, “sustainability” only for their profit margin, “interconnection” only for their privatized supply chains, “innovation” only for destructive new technologies of war, surveillance and plunder, and “inclusion” only for including the labor power and political destinies of all working and oppressed people of the world in grand schemes that they have no say in.
Sure, they made grand promises on ensuring food security, price controls on basic goods, open data sharing between peoples and companies, climate crisis mitigation and reducing armed conflict, but not a single concrete roadmap to achieve them. In short, the Golden Gate Declaration is another mass gaslight to the people of the world, ignoring their just demands for land, life and dignity and simply claiming governments and the big businesses they’re in bed with know best and will handle it, and create bogeymen out of anyone saying otherwise – falsely tagging them as terrorists.
The No To APEC campaign showcased a new period of strength for ILPS-US. But with new strength comes harsher crackdowns from this big business class of imperialists, and already our members have been terror tagged and even assaulted by state forces in the course of the campaign and other ongoing fights for social justice and national liberation. If anything, the Golden Gate Declaration and these attacks prove the correctness of ILPS’s analysis of APEC from the very start, and the justness for continuing the fight against US imperialism. We encourage all ILPS-US members to study the No To APEC Coalition Unity Statement issued at the closing of the Peoples’ Counter Summit, titled “People and Planet Over Profit and Plunder: Towards a World Beyond Profit-Oriented Systems!” to see our vision of where to take these fights!
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, but we must be prepared to defend them against further attacks and push for further victories.
ILPS-US is excited to move into 2024 uplifting the call of its 2nd National Assembly Declaration, “Fight for our rights, lives and planet! United against the dying, desperate US empire!” by carrying through its signature Defend Peoples Struggle campaign and looking towards new victories in the anti-imperialist movement.
The people united will never be defeated!