Northsiders had a lot to say about the G-20 Summit, which ended Friday with only minor incidents.
Sandy Rose of West View said, “I think it’s kind of cool. I think it’s important that the leaders get together like they do. [But] one day just isn’t enough time to get anything done.”
And while Rose said she thinks the police have done a good job keeping violent protests to a minimum and keeping residents safe, she chided the anarchist protesters in Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Shadyside and Oakland for causing destruction.
“If you were really willing to stand up for what you believe in, they shouldn’t be ashamed to hide their faces,” she said in reference to many of the protesters who wore masks during the unpermitted protest on Sept. 24.
Renee Smith of Brighton Heights agreed that the protests and violence was “not good” for the city.
“I don’t really care for [the G-20] too much,” Smith said.
Hal, who lives on the Northside and did not give his last name, argued about the G-20 with his friend John, also of the Northside.
“Talk about the cleanup,” Hal said. “How much is it going to cost for the cleanup? How much is it going to cost for security to protect the people of Pittsburgh?”
Hal also expressed anger at protesters destroying property. “The innocent people of the city are getting punished because of people who don’t even live here.”
John countered, “How could [the summit itself] be bad for the city? The city ain’t on fire yet. Ain’t nobody fought yet.”
Hal, who is currently unemployed, said that the economic summit was not helping him at all. “Some people are really going to hurt with that three days [of not working],” he said.
Rose, who is also currently unemployed and searching for work, said that the G-20 posed an inconvenience because services and businesses — including those like CareerLink, which she is using in her job search — were closed.
“There’s a lot of families struggling,” she said, and losing a few days of work certainly would not help them.
John said he believed the summit will ultimately help Pittsburgh economically by bringing money into the city from the large influx of people.
Ann Reig and Colleen Izzi, who both live in the North Hills but work on the Northside, said they had mixed feelings about the summit.
While it’s good to see Pittsburgh getting some attention, Reig said, she was worried about violent protests and the damage already caused.
“That part of the protest I don’t understand,” Izzi said.
Izzi also worried that once the word gets out on Pittsburgh’s transformation from the Steel City to the city of technology and innovation, it might put the city on terrorists’ to-hit lists.
“It’s scary,” Izzi said. “[Pittsburgh] would be a great place to do a terrorist attack.”
Despite their concerns though, both women agreed that for once, getting in and out of the city was easy.
“The traffic was great,” Reig said.