The protests are beginning, and even though Chinese President Xi Jinping isn't even in town yet, and the APEC leaders summit doesn't even kick off until Saturday, a pro-Tibet group is already getting their messaging out there.
The San Francisco chapter of Students for a Free Tibet unfurled a banner on top of Moscone Center North that said, "Dictator Xi Jinping Your Time Is Up! Free Tibet!"
This facade of the Moscone Center is reachable through Yerba Buena Gardens and the terraces on the south end of the park, so this particular option wasn't high on the difficulty scale. And it may be that the group chose to do it today because, starting Saturday or Sunday, the whole area is going to be locked down with Secret Service and other law enforcement guarding the perimeter
The Secret Service has said that all protests next week will be relegated to a designated "free speech zone" within the security zone.
HAPPENING NOW: 3 SFT activists have CLIMBED the Moscone Center in San Francisco—where the APEC Summit will commence tomorrow—and dropped a banner that reads “Dictator Xi Jinping, Your Time Is Up!”#FreeTibet #SFT #APEC #APECSummit #APEC2023 #XiJinping pic.twitter.com/u0aLVfXgkk— Students for a Free Tibet (@SFTHQ) November 10, 2023
"Xi can’t hide from the countless people united against his authoritarian regime," the group says in a tweet. "Generations of Tibetans will always resist his dictatorship until Tibet is free."
The banner was unfurled around noon on Friday, and it's unclear how long it stayed there — but it already appears to have been taken down.
As the Chronicle reports, among the large protests being planned, climate activists plan to try to block attendees from reaching the APEC CEOs' summit on Wednesday by setting up some sort of human blockade near Market and Powell streets. Also, a potentially large pro-Palestinian protest is expected to greet President Biden's arrival — he arrives Tuesday and the protest is reportedly planned for Wednesday.
Students for a Free Tibet says it is organizing a larger protest during APEC on November 16, and it is calling on demonstrators to make their voice heard on behalf of "Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians, and many other groups — including its own Chinese citizens." That action is called "Rise Up Against Xi: Biggest Unwelcome Protest."
In the 6+ years since Xi came to America, China has grown more authoritarian in its repression of Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians, and many other groups—including its own Chinese citizens.— Students for a Free Tibet (@SFTHQ) November 3, 2023
11/16, join us in SF at the largest cross-movement protest against Xi pic.twitter.com/26cBpbqbeW