APISA 11 is pleased to announce that Walden Bello will be the Keynote speaker for this year’s congress. He will be giving his opening keynote address, “Asia and Finance Capital: From the Japanese Bubble to China’s Financial Time Bomb” on the morning of Friday, 20 October.
A long-time advocate for social justice and anti-corporate activist, Walden Flores Bello, born in the Philippines in 1945, is a Filipino academic who served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. He is now International Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Prof. Bello is one of the leading critics of the current model of economic globalization. As a human rights and peace campaigner, academic, environmentalist and journalist, he has made a major contribution to the international case against corporate-driven globalization. He became a political activist following the declaration of Martial Law by Ferdinand Marcos in September 1972. Over the next two decades, he became a key figure in the movement to restore democracy in the Philippines. He was jailed by the US authorities in 1978 for leading the non-violent takeover of the Philippine consulate in San Francisco. He was released three weeks later after a hunger strike to publicize human rights abuses in his home country. While campaigning on human rights he took the risk of breaking into the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC and brought out 3,000 pages of confidential documents that provided the material for a book of his that became an underground bestseller in the Philippines and contributed to expanding the citizen’s movement that eventually deposed Marcos in 1986.
After the fall of Marcos, Bello joined the non-governmental organization Food First in the USA. In 1995, he co-founded of Focus on the Global South. He was a member of the Philippines House of Representatives for six years starting in 2009. He resigned from the Congress in 2015 to protest the administration of President Benigno Aquino III’s policies and his concluding the Enhanced Defenses Cooperation Agreement with the United States. He is currently the chairperson of a broad coalition called People’s Struggle (Laban ng Masa) that is organizing against President Rodrigo Duterte’s rule.