Demonstration levels in the United States remained relatively stable last week. Labor-related demonstrations substantially increased last week compared to the week prior, accounting for the largest share of demonstration events last week. Meanwhile, demonstration events related to the COVID-19 pandemic declined slightly, yet still accounted for the second-largest share of demonstrations last week. Demonstrations against rape and sexual violence, the overwhelming majority of which were led by university and high school students, also increased. Demonstrations against environmental degradation increased as well, with the majority of such demonstrations calling on governments to improve their response to climate change. These demonstrations coincided with the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, which concluded last week. Finally, militia groups and militant social movements participated in multiple demonstrations last week. Compared to the prior week, more training and recruitment events were reported last week, though fewer patrols.
Labor groups, including teachers and health workers, rallied across at least 20 states last week for various causes, including increased wages and improved working conditions. About a third of all labor-related demonstrations were linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than half of these events opposed to coronavirus restrictions and vaccines. Strike-related demonstrations also continued last week. Notably, fast food workers in California walked out of work on 9 November to demonstrate in favor of Assembly Bill 257, which aims to establish minimum industry standards for worker safety and treatment (NBC Los Angeles, 9 November 2021).
Demonstrations against rape and sexual assault took place in at least nine states last week, as high school and university students demand school administrators take action against those accused of sexual violence. Demonstrators gathered outside fraternity houses at several universities, demanding accountability for fraternity members accused of sexual assault. In some instances, demonstrators demanded the complete removal of particular fraternities from campuses. These demonstrations are part of a larger pattern of demonstrations that have taken place at universities across the country in recent months.
Reported militia activity slightly increased last week compared to the week prior. The American Contingency Group held multiple firearms trainings in Grandview, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, following a lack of reported training activity the week prior. Patriot Front held a combat training in central Pennsylvania, amid increased reports of Patriot Front activity beginning in mid-October. Additionally, the Nationalist Social Club, an openly neo-Nazi group, held a combat training in north Rhode Island, marking the first reported training by the group in the state. The Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT), an offshoot of the Oath Keepers, reportedly held recruitment events in Chino Valley, Surprise, and Cottonwood, Arizona. YCPT has held at least two recruitment events per month in Arizona since June 2021.
The Proud Boys were also active last week, participating in several demonstrations. On 9 November, a handful of Cape Fear Proud Boys participated in a demonstration against a coronavirus mask mandate outside of a school board meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina (Wilmington Star-News, 10 November 2021). They later stood at the back of the meeting in full regalia, clapping and showing support for speakers opposed to the mandate. Days later, also in Wilmington, Cape Fear Proud Boys demonstrated against COVID-19 mask mandates outside a Hanover County Health and Human Services board meeting (WWAY-TV 3, 12 November 2021). The demonstrations come as the group has vowed to “ramp up pressure” on local officials (Port City Daily, 10 November 2021).
California-based Proud Boys were also active last week, attending a demonstration against coronavirus vaccine mandates outside Los Angeles City Hall on 8 November (Los Angeles Times, 8 November 2021). On 11 November, Proud Boys provided ‘security’ for a demonstration against coronavirus vaccine mandates on the Golden Gate Bridge outside of San Francisco (Twitter @IGD_News, 11 November 2021). At this demonstration, a driver ran into a police barrier, injuring three California Highway Patrol officers and two civilians, in what appeared to be an accident (SF Gate, 11 November 2021).
Meanwhile, Nick Fuentes’s Groypers reportedly participated in at least two demonstrations in New York state last week. On 9 November, a small number of Groypers gathered in Times Square in New York City to counter a protest in favor of immigrant rights (UCOMM Blog, 11 November 2021). The following day, Groypers demonstrated against vaccine mandates alongside the neo-Nazi Goyim Defense League (GDL) in Staten Island (Staten Island Advance, 10 November 2021).
Finally, on 7 November, the white supremacist group Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) participated in a violent demonstration against COVID-19 mask mandates in Boston, Massachusetts (NBC Boston, 8 November 2021). Members of the group fought with counter-demonstrators rallying against the group, with counter-demonstrators throwing projectiles at an SHFA member. An anti-mask mandate demonstrator, demonstrating alongside SHFA, drove his car through a police barricade and towards the counter-demonstrators. Police arrested two people, including the driver (CBS Boston, 8 November 2021).
© 2021 Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). All rights reserved