APEC has been overshadowed by South China Sea tensions and terrorism, but still as leaders discuss free trade, protesters slam them for worsening poverty.
Activists protesting against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Manila, Philippines, clashed with police on Wednesday in attempts to take their demonstration to the site of the the APEC meetings, where world leaders also met to discuss the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership.
As Telesur reports:
Social movements including labor unions, women’s groups, students, Indigenous people, farmer organizations, and international activists have protested the negative impacts of APEC’s free trade model, which they say has increased poverty, undermined local agriculture, displaced rural and indigenous people, increased tuition rates, and contributed to skyrocketing unemployment and privatized healthcare.
Scuffles broke out as activists tried to make their way through police cordons and get closer to the APEC meetings.
Manila is on security lockdown with scores of police and other security personnel in the wake of last Friday’s deadly Paris attacks. According to Rappler, a 28,000-strong police force is “prepared for the worst” when it comes to protests.
Protesters have urged the government not to use security as a pretext to crackdown on peaceful protest. Many residents have complained about difficulties and disruptions to daily life as a result of the summit security and attempts by the Philippine government to make a good impression on international visitors.
But while protesters slam the downfalls of free trade, deregulation, and privatization, APEC leaders inside the summit are keen on continuing those policies through new trade deals, including the TPP.
In a meeting of TPP leaders on the sidelines of APEC on Wednesday, President Barack Obama applauded the TPP as a “good deal economically,” stressing the importance of putting the TPP into action as a deal that captures the “common interests” of the APEC bloc.
“Execution is critical after we arrived at the text,” said President Obama during a meeting with the leaders of 12-nation transnational trade deal. “TPP is at the heart of our shared vision for the future of this dynamic region.”
Meanwhile, congress is introducing legislation to ensure corporate criminals remain above the law, and Barack Obama is also pressuring Canada and the other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to approve the trade deal as quickly as possible.
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P.S. Ephesians 6:11-13:
The Full Armor of God
11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.…