The 5,000-strong mob of protesters coming from the youth, women, workers, peasants, church, and professional sectors trooped to the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City where the Asia-Pacific Economic (APEC) Summit Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held, but their march was cut short by a barricade of police and military forces along Buendia.
While calling out against anti-people economic policies that the APEC pushes for — such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact — the protesters held up signs bearing demands for land distribution, better health care and education, and higher wages.
After a skirmish with the police, the protesters were given fifteen minutes to disperse, but the groups stayed for the program. Members of peasant and other progressive groups from as far as Ilocos joined the march. Other groups traveled from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon. Philippine National Police-Special Armed Forces (PNP-SAF) stood on guard as protesters turned towards the direction of Buendia.Lumad leaders join the front line. Most of the Manilakbayan delegation from Mindanao could not get past the barricade set by the police in Baclaran Church.“Junk, Junk APEC!” was the rallying cry of the mob. These wooden signs also served as shields during the stand-off with the police. In an attempt to forcibly disperse the the protesters — which by far outnumbered the combined force of the police and military — firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection bombed the mob with water cannons.The protesters, however, stayed in their ranks until the firetrucks ran out of water.To mark their indignance on U.S. imperialism made manifest by the APEC Summit, protesters burnt an effigy bearing the image of an eagle with the iconic stripes of the American flag.