The overwhelming presence of law enforcement officials prompted antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan to blog, quote, “This is what a police state looks like.”
JON DELANO: What’s your response to those who are demonstrating and those who oppose this summit?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I fundamentally disagree with their view that the free market is the source of all ills. Ironically, if they had been paying attention to what was taking place inside the summit itself, what they would have heard was a strong recognition from the most diverse collection of leaders in history that it is important to make sure that the market is working for ordinary people.
STEVE MARTINEZ: And although President Obama chose to characterize the demonstrators as rabble-rousing anti-capitalists disinterested in the actual goings-on of the summit, most who attended the rallies on Thursday and Friday felt they were getting the G-20’s message loud and clear and had their own take on the gathering of world leaders. This is musician and activist David Rovics.
DAVID ROVICS: The G-20 is—generally represents very wealthy countries that don’t have the interests of the people at heart.
REVEREND BILLY: These twenty prime ministers and presidents, they’re not operating on earth time!
PROTESTER: What time do they operate on?
REVEREND BILLY: They’re operating according to a kind of corporate gradualism! Their metabolism comes from their military advisers, big energy! They will do things very slowly! They will try to accommodate their investors! As far as I’m concerned, they’re accommodating the devil! Let’s cast out those devils!