While President Joe Biden was on his way to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday morning at the Filoli estate in Woodside, protesters gathered outside the Powell Street BART station in San Francisco and proceeded to block traffic entering the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
There was an early morning scuffle with police in front of the San Francisco Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets before the group divided and spread out to block the cars from entering the security zone for the conference.
By mid-morning, the group formed human blockades at Mission and Fifth streets, New Montgomery Street as well as other entrances, but officials re-routed eventgoers in and out of the conference using alternative access points.
“We came to block the entrances to the APEC CEO Summit, because we are opposed to APEC and the policies it’s promoting,” said Rhonda Ramiro with the No To APEC coalition. “We had people willing to put their bodies across the intersection, because we are against business as usual.”
Other protesters include the Chinese religious movement Falun Gong, who lined Market Street with banners declaring their persecution from China. A pro-Chinese flag waving group gathered on Jessie and Third streets, blaring patriotic music.
San Francisco police, dressed in riot gear, as well as the California Highway Patrol and U.S. Secret Service were heavily present throughout the area.