More than 300 activists from all over the world are converging on Manila to hold an international conference starting tomorrow and challenge the Association of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next week.
Saying the world would be better off without APEC and other multilateral agreements that benefit only one percent of the world’s population, the International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS) said they represent 99 percent of the world’s population who suffer from increasing hunger and injustices under a global economic system controlled by rich and powerful countries.
“We will not mince our words. APEC claims that it is building a better word and…inclusive economics. APEC, in fact, is peddling a lie,” multi-awarded Canadian filmmaker Malcolm Guy said.
ILPS Philippines coordinator and former legislator Liza Masa said that the Philippines has become number two importer of rice after it joined the APEC in 1994.
“The influx of imported goods displaced our farmed and workers and stunted our local production. All thanks to APEC neo-liberal trade policies and the gross ineptness of our own government,” Masa said.
She warned that APEC’s brand of interconnectivity of member countries’ labor sectors and economies is only aimed at further enslaving the poor and enriching the rich.
Palestinian liberation fighter Leila Khaled said she is attending the conference to tell the world about their ongoing struggle against Israeli zionism and United States imperialism that are the leading sources of militarization of marginalized peoples in the world. “Everything that the leaders of powerful countries are going to say during the APEC summit here in Manila should instantly be considered a lie,”she said.
The ILPS is said to be the largest global formation of militant and anti-imperialist activists with hundreds of member organizations in 36 countries.
Delegates to its 5th General Assembly here in Manila are expected to hold protest actions against the APEC as well as solidarity activities with the Lumad of Mindanao who are themselves holding their Manilakbayan protests until the last week of the month. “As citizens of the world, we intend to let our voices be heard,” Guy said. ###