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Several protests a day expected in San Francisco during APEC

Dozens of people wearing COVID face mask stand closely together in the middle of a street in Bangkok, Thailand, during an Anti-APEC protest. They are holding signs that read "Democracy" "Release Political Prisoners Right Now" and the acronym "APEC" with a big red circle and strike through the words.
Protesters hold placards during a demonstration on Nov. 18, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. This year, APEC is slated to visit San Francisco starting on Saturday. | Source: Louise Delmotte/Getty Images

San Francisco police say APEC may be a busy week of protests as nearly two dozen heads of state and hundreds of CEOs and dignitaries from around the world descend on the city.

At the center of protests in San Francisco stands the No to APEC Coalition, which organizers say is composed of 100 or so grassroots organizations from around the country.

Locally in recent weeks, San Francisco has seen a number of protests due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, with thousands gathering last weekend to march for a cease-fire.

RELATED: Everything To Know About APEC Security, Traffic and Transit in 10 Maps

“We’re expecting at least several a day,” San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said in a public safety meeting about APEC on Wednesday. “But we don’t know which ones will actually materialize.”

Police monitor social media and other open-source information sources to learn about planned protests, Scott added, but oftentimes officers have to wait and see to confirm details on the gatherings.

Details of the security announced Wednesday by the U.S. Secret Service included a locked-down four-square-block section of Downtown around the Moscone Center, closed streets and shut-down transit lines—including the Central Subway—as well as limited air traffic over San Francisco.

Listed below are the protests coming up that we know about.

Thursday: Protest outside Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity in Yerba Buena Gardens

To kick off APEC week, climate and environmental protestors with Diablo Rising Tide and the California Trade Justice Coalition will rally at 10:30 a.m. at the Yerba Buena Gardens outside of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) meeting.

Leaders participating in the meeting will discuss trade and economics as well as a clean energy economy based on four previous ministerial pillars agreed upon by APEC participants in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Protestors are demanding “that APEC leaders and IPEF negotiators listen to the people instead of corporations,” according to the groups.

Saturday: People’s Summit at San Francisco State

San Francisco State’s League of Filipino Students is hosting a counter-summit on Saturday titled “People and Planet Over Profit and Plunder” at the university’s Annex I building on 1 North State Drive. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the student association.

“We are organizing this counter-summit and mass mobilizations to expose APEC’s false solutions and build a movement to address the very real crises of climate change, economic crisis and militarization,” said Rhonda Ramiro of the No to APEC Coalition.

Sunday: Mass Mobilization at Embarcadero

The main protest action for Sunday, according to No to APEC organizers, is the mass mobilization that will gather at Embarcadero at the Harry Bridges Plaza at noon before peacefully marching toward the Moscone Center—where APEC meetings will be taking place.

The mobilization will happen as APEC’s Finance Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled to take place.

Wednesday: Action at APEC CEO Summit at Powell Station

During the second day of the conference’s CEO Summit at Moscone Center West, activists with the No to APEC Coalition are planning to gather at 7 a.m. Wednesday near Powell Street Station to protest the day’s events, according to the group.

Other protests may happen but do not have a determined time or place for the demonstrations, according to the No to APEC organizers.

What exactly is APEC, and why is San Francisco hosting part of it this year? KQED journalist and APEC Host Committee Press Ambassador Priya David Clemens explains. | Video by Jesse Rogala

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