#G20: Here’s what the web thought of the global summit


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.

The handshakes

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.

He didn’t.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

Many saw this as a result of an incompetent and understaffed administration.

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.

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.

Amidst the chaos was a brave pizza delivery man who rode his bike through the masses of people to get to his drop-off.

Employee of the month (at Hamburg riots) from videos

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.

A video by Australian political editor Chris Uhlmann went viral as he detailed why many reached this conclusion.

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.

Featured image: GovernmentZA via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0, resized)



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