SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting entered its sixth day, protesters took to the Bay Bridge to shut down all westbound traffic moving from Oakland into San Francisco.
With widespread street closures in effect, San Francisco has been transformed by the conference, which is expected to draw 20,000 people and 22 world leaders to the city.
Follow our live blog for the latest updates on protests, road closures and more.
APEC San Francisco 2023 live updates:
Thursday, Nov. 16
12:15 p.m. — 70 Bay Bridge protesters cited and released
About 70 Bay Bridge protesters were cited and released after shutting down the Bay Bridge Thursday morning, according to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office. The bridge enforcement was a joint effort between SF Sheriff, the San Francisco Police Department and the CHP.
11:52 a.m. — All lanes on Bay Bridge open
All lanes on the Bay Bridge have reopened after being shut down by protesters earlier, the CHP has confirmed.
11:12 a.m. — Two westbound lanes of bridge back open
Two westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge have reopened after being shut down by protesters just before 8 a.m. Thursday. CHP officials say they hope to have all lanes reopened in 30 to 60 minutes.
10:30 a.m. — AC Transit Transbay lines detouring to West Oakland
Due to demonstrators on the Bay Bridge, AC Transit said it will be detouring Transbay lines to West Oakland BART for riders to continue to San Francisco Thursday morning.
10:20 a.m. — SF’s Emergency Operations Center fully operational
San Francisco’s Emergency Operations Center has been fully operational this week, according to a tweet from SF Mayor London Breed. The center has been dealing with “any and all challenges” to manage the conference, including public safety, street conditions, transit and traffic updates and more, Breed said.
“Thank you to all our city staff and to our partners at state and federal levels who are working to take care of our city,” Breed said.
9:49 a.m. — Bridge protesters threw their keys into the Bay
Protesters blocking the Bay Bridge Thursday abandoned their vehicles and threw their keys into the Bay Thursday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. Their are currently about 250 CHP officers deployed to the scene and about 50 protesters have been arrested so far.
Fifteen vehicles have been toward and there are 10-15 more vehicles remaining that may be towed.
CHP officials say they hope to have one lane on the bridge reopened by around 10 a.m.
9:35 a.m. — Bay Bridge protesters being arrested, processed on bridge
Hundreds of officers deployed to a pro-Palestinian protest on the Bay Bridge are arresting and processing protesters on the bridge. The protesters are peacefully surrendering to officers as they are arrested, according to KRON4’s Will Tran. As they are being arrested, many of them are chanting pro-Palestinian slogans.
At least 50 to 60 protesters have been arrested and put into trucks for transport, according to Will Tran. Traffic on the bridge remains blocked across all lanes of the upper deck.
9:10 a.m. — Biden calls Xi a “dictator” following APEC meeting
Perhaps just shaking hands and sitting down together can be enough sometimes.
At their four-hour meeting Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping didn’t resolve any of the vital geopolitical issues dividing the world’s two largest economies and chief rivals for global influence, but they struck a conciliatory tone that came as a relief to other countries, especially China’s neighbors.
The aura of goodwill generated by the meeting was marred somewhat, however, by a comment by Biden. When pressed by a reporter to say whether he trusted Xi, he said he believed in trusting but verifying, and conceded that China’s leader is a dictator.
“He is a dictator in a sense,” Biden said.
That drew a stout response from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, who said, “Such a remark is extremely wrong and is irresponsible political manipulation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
7:57 a.m. — Protests on the Bay Bridge blocking all westbound traffic
Protesters have blocked all lanes of westbound Interstate 80 traffic on the Bay Bridge, east of Treasure Island Road, according to 511 SF Bay. Protesters have stopped their cars on the Bay Bridge and chained themselves to the bridge, according to California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel.
There is no estimated time for reopening, according to the CHP.
Wednesday, Nov. 15
10:00 p.m. — Welcome reception for APEC leaders at Exploratorium
President Joe Biden hosted a welcome party at San Francisco’s Exploratorium on Wednesday for attendees of the summit. Biden welcomed world leaders, Gwen Stefani performed and it all ended with a fireworks show.
KRON4’s Sara Stinson has more.
5:04 p.m. — Tight security around Exploratorium as Biden set to meet with APEC leaders
2:05 p.m. — Hundreds of pro-Xi supporters bused in for roadside demonstration
Supporters of Chinese President Xi Jinping were bused in by the hundreds for a roadside demonstration near the site of a meeting between Xi and U.S. President Joe Biden. In addition to the pro-China demonstrators, there were a number of protesters holding Taiwanese flags at the demonstration in Woodside. As of 2 p.m., the demonstration remained peaceful.
Some two miles away from the demonstration, Xi and Biden held a meeting behind closed doors.
Of the meeting President Biden tweeted, “I value the conversation I had today with President Xi because I think it’s paramount that we understand each other clearly, leader to leader.”
“There are critical global challenges that demand our joint leadership,” he added. “And today, we made real progress.”
11:30 a.m. — Biden-Xi meeting underway in Woodside
President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping opened their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year Wednesday with a solid handshake ahead of talks with far-reaching implications for a world grappling with economic cross currents, wars in the Middle East and Europe, tensions in Taiwan and more.
For more on the meeting, click here.
10:55 a.m. — APEC road closures remain in effect
Road closures are in effect across San Francisco Wednesday, due to APEC. For the latest on APEC closures, click here.
10:52 a.m. — Protesters gather outside Chinese Consulate in SF
A third group of protesters has assembled Wednesday, this one outside of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. Video from the scene showed the protesters hoisting “Free Tibet” signs and banners.
9:50 a.m. — Muni rerouted due to APEC protests
Due to protests on Market Street, Muni has announced the following reroutes and switchbacks:
- Inbound F Market switchback at Market and 6th streets
- Outbound switchback at the Ferry Building
- Inbound 5/5R switchback at McAllister and Jones
- Inbound 6 Haight/Parnassus and 7 Haight/Noriega at Market/S. Van Ness
- Inbound 9/9R switchback at Eddy/Mason
- Inbound 38/38R switchback at O’Farrell/Taylor
9:45 a.m. — Expert weighs in on US-China relations ahead of Biden-Xi meeting
KRON4’s James Fletcher and Darya Folsom spoke to Nancy Park of Cal State University East Bay.
9:15 a.m. — Protesters assemble outside location for Biden-Xi meeting
Twenty-five miles south of San Francisco, protesters have assembled two and a half miles away from the location of President Biden’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping.
The protesters are on the side of the road in the hopes that Xi’s motorcade will pass as they want to send him a message, calling him a terrorist.
They are calling for an end to the Chinese Communist Party.
The meeting between the two presidents will be the first one in more than a year as they haven’t even talked on the phone. The relationship has been frosty.
Usually, after meetings between world leaders, they both issue joint statements, but in this case, they have already said each side will make their own statements.
8:45 a.m. — Protesters attempt to block APEC entrance
Protesters have gathered outside the San Francisco Chronicle Building at 5th and Mission streets near the main entrance to the APEC summit at the Moscone Center. As of 8:45 a.m., the protest remained peaceful as protesters linked arms, facing off with a line of police officers, some of whom are outfitted with riot helmets and batons.
Assembled protesters are carrying signs appearing to represent various causes, including demands for a cease-fire in the Middle East.