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The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an annual forum for the governments of 20 major economies to discuss policy issues around international financial stability. This year’s summit was held in Hamburg, Germany, and was notable for a myriad of reasons — including US President Donald Trump’s debut at the summit, his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a spate of violent protests that shook the city.
Naturally, social media had a lot to say about all of it.
Donald Trump is notorious for his aggressive handshakes, in which he asserts dominance by yanking the other’s hand towards him. Due to the summit representing his first in-person meeting with Putin — who, according to ex-FBI director James Comey, hacked the 2016 US election — many were eager to see if he would treat the Russian leader in the same manner.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 7, 2017
In fact, the US President went so far as to pat him on the back. In another photo-op, Trump reached his hand out and kept it placed below Putin’s, which some deemed a sign of submission.
While supporters saw nothing wrong with the greeting, others feared it was emblematic of a submissive relationship. And, of course, body language analysts sprung up everywhere.
looks as if Trump is using two hands to handshake Putin. Using two hands implies respect and superiority towards the other
— Badamasi Galadima (@Ngugibadamasi) July 10, 2017
Still think Trump isn’t in bed with Putin? Look at their handshake. Trump shook Putin’s hand as an employee would shake a boss’s hand.
— Moisticle (@timdanielgould) July 10, 2017
Another notable handshake was between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosted the summit. The interaction picked up traction for its sheer awkwardness — and the fact that neither leader managed a good photo.
— Sam Willey🏳️🌈 (@SamWiseSW) July 6, 2017
Another handshake that got Twitter excited was that of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, who celebrated the world leaders’ “bromance”.
The Trudeau-Macron bromance is still going strong. pic.twitter.com/1hjkfhMPVs
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 7, 2017
Angela Merkel’s disdain
Merkel found mini-viral fame when photos and video emerged of her seemingly annoyed by Putin and Trump. She instantly became a meme when users tried to guess what had elicited her eye rolls and facepalms.
— Malcolm Tucker (@Tucker5law) July 9, 2017
Trump: hey angela
Trump: me again
Trump: i’m still president
— Mike P Williams 🌹 (@Mike_P_Williams) July 7, 2017
One astute user pointed out that she may be exemplifying disdain in solidarity with what Trump and Putin were saying — especially considering her latest “no” vote in regards to same sex marriage.
Ever occur to you that she may be rolling her eyes in solidarity with his homophobia?
Him: “The gays, they are ungodly.”
Her: “Ugh, I know.” pic.twitter.com/v7zGLPDeQc
— Noah Tsika (@NoahTsika) July 7, 2017
Trump’s staff forgot to book a hotel
Donald Trump arrived in Hamburg to the news that he did not have a place to stay that night. There were reports that when trying to book a room, he was turned away by top hotels and resorted to staying in a state residence.
Ahead of G20 summit in Hamburg: Local media reports that Trump got rejected by city’s top luxury hotel & has to stay in a state residence
— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) June 26, 2017
Many saw this as a result of an incompetent and understaffed administration.
The sheer incompetence of this White House is mind numbing.https://t.co/ytxEwrNXLY
— Holly O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) July 6, 2017
I’m still waiting for someone to explain how master negotiator Trump forgot to think about booking a hotel room before the G20 summit
— Good Sir Knight (@BrigadierSlog) July 10, 2017
Ivanka Trump sits in for POTUS
Daughter of the US President and White House aide Ivanka Trump sat in Donald Trump’s place when he stepped out when the conversation reached African development.
Many saw her as unqualified, and were baffled by her recent comment that she tries to stay out of politics.
I’m not sure Ivanka taking her dad’s place on an Africa meeting is sinister, so much as a show of how low a priority Africa is for Trump
— Kenichi Serino (@KenichiSerino) July 8, 2017
Ivanka Trump tries to stay out of politics like I try to stay out of an open bag of chips.
— maura quint (@behindyourback) July 9, 2017
Violent Antifa protests break out across the city
Antifascist organisation Antifa set Hamurg alight over the weekend in protest of policies that provide “hellish conditions like hunger, war and the climate disaster“.
According to police, thousands of masked protesters used glass bottles and rocks to fight law enforcement. Around 100 000 protesters were expected to gather, and police prepared for around 8000 to use violence.
Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the groups.
Thousands of German’s traveling from across the country in special trains to protest Trump in Hamburg! pic.twitter.com/DmD9TxQVRB
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) July 6, 2017
— SeriouslyUS? (@USseriously) July 6, 2017
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 7, 2017
Amidst the chaos was a brave pizza delivery man who rode his bike through the masses of people to get to his drop-off.
The US is no longer seen as a world leader
Donald Trump looked out of place throughout the summit, giving many pundits a reason to believe Trump’s US is no longer a global leader.
— Nick Walden Poublon (@NWPinPDX) July 9, 2017
A video by Australian political editor Chris Uhlmann went viral as he detailed why many reached this conclusion.
Holy smokes. Australian journalist provides one of the most brutal takedowns of Trump I’ve heard in a while. 👏🏽pic.twitter.com/MPoDJXATlM
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) July 8, 2017
Jacob Zuma says G20 spoke “positively” of Africa
As the only African representative, South African president Jacob Zuma assured his constituents that the group discussed issues of immigration, refugees, and how Africa “won’t be left behind” in the global economic growth.
— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) July 10, 2017