Last week, in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity moderately decreased in the United States for the second consecutive week, while continuing at a stable rate in Canada. In Canada, demonstrations continued to be driven by labor group activity. In the United States, ‘pro-choice’ demonstrations, in support of abortion access, continued to make up the largest share of demonstration events for the fifth consecutive week in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Such demonstrations declined by more than half compared to the week prior, however. Meanwhile, demonstrations led by labor groups demanding better pay and working conditions more than doubled, following a lull around the 4th of July holiday, making up the second largest share of demonstration events last week. Demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement remained at heightened levels last week, despite a significant decrease compared to the week prior. Finally, reported far-right militia, militant social movement, and white supremacist activity declined significantly last week.
In Canada, demonstrations continued last week at largely the same rate as the week prior, with labor demonstrations continuing to make up the largest share of demonstration events. Meanwhile, a small amount of ‘pro-choice’ demonstration events were held, in solidarity with American demonstrators, for the second consecutive week.
In the United States, demonstrations in support of access to abortion made up more than a third of all events last week. ‘Pro-choice’ demonstrations continue to outnumber ‘pro-life’ demonstrations by a wide margin, by a factor of four-to-one last week. Militias and militant social groups also continued to participate in ‘pro-life’ demonstrations last week. On 9 July, members of the white supremacist Shield Wall Network, along with at least one QAnon adherent, gathered across from a ‘pro-choice’ rally in Mountain View, Arkansas, to protest in favor of ‘pro-life’ policies. That same day in Santa Monica, California, members of the Proud Boys participated in a ‘Babies Lives Matter’ demonstration against a nearby Planned Parenthood. Far-right mobilization has increasingly been driven by abortion-related activity (for more on abortion-related demonstration trends, see this recent ACLED report).
Demonstrations in support of the BLM movement continued last week, largely driven by continued calls for justice for the police killing of Jayland Walker on 27 June. Meanwhile, a Black 15-year-old boy died in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on 7 July, after a SWAT team raided a home using flashbangs, which are suspected to have ignited a fire (NBC, 11 July 2022). The boy, who was not a suspect of any crime, died from smoke inhalation. Demonstrations in support of the BLM movement and calling for justice for the boy’s death occurred in Albuquerque on 10 and 14 July.
In Washington, DC, affiliates of the 1776 Restoration Movement, a group that splintered from the ‘People’s Convoy,’ demonstrated daily last week against COVID-19 vaccines and public health-related mandates. They also call for a restoration of “the constitutional republic” — what they believe to be the original intentions of the Founding Fathers (Fox News, 11 July 2022). Since 6 July, the group has been occupying part of the street on the National Mall along Madison Drive, which continued last week (WUSA 9, 11 July 2022).
Meanwhile, armed assailants targeted elected officials at their homes last week. On 9 July, a 48-year-old man armed with a .40-caliber Glock 22 was arrested outside of the home of Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal, in Seattle, Washington, after he allegedly yelled racist remarks toward the congresswoman and threatened to kill her. Though he was arrested on several charges, including perpetrating a hate crime, he was later released without criminal charges formally being filed (Washington Post, 14 July 2022). In Arkansas, a man threw a “crude explosive device” at the home of Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell on 11 July before fleeing the scene (KATV, 11 July 2022). After an exchange of gunfire between police and the man, he was later arrested. His motives for the attack have yet to be reported.
On 9 July, in the Woodhaven neighborhood of Queens, New York, a white woman was attacked by three Black women in an unprovoked attack on a Q-52 bus, in what the NYPD is investigating as a hate crime. The attackers hit the victim in the head several times and were reported to have stated that they “hate white people” (CBS News, 15 July 2022). The victim was taken to the hospital and was treated for her injuries. This incident and the aforementioned events contributed to the 64% increase in violent events in the United States over the past month relative to the weekly average for past year flagged by ACLED’s Conflict Change Map, which first warned of increased violence to come in the country in the past month.
Reported militia and militant social movement activity decreased significantly last week, though militia groups continue to conduct training and recruitment events. In Arizona, the Chino Valley Preparedness Team and the Verde Valley Preparedness Team held recruitment and public information sessions on 9 July in Chino Valley and Cottonwood, respectively. On 11 July, the Maricopa County Preparedness Team held a similar event in Surprise, Arizona. Meanwhile, the Virginia Citizens Defense League held a public information session and shooting practice on 14 July in Ashburn, Virginia. Preparatory mobilization by far-right groups, including recruitment drives and training, has been increasing.
On 10 July, members of the Proud Boys joined Mass Resistance, Protect Texas Kids, the Young Conservatives of Texas, and several people who self-identified as Nazis outside a drag show in Houston, Texas, to protest against the show. A group of anti-fascists, at least one of whom was armed, were also present as counter-demonstrators. Far-right groups have increased anti-LGBT+ mobilization, including targeting events involving drag.
Openly white supremacist organizations were also active last week. On 10 July, leaflets promoting the ‘Aryan National Army’ and containing anti-Semitic and white supremacist messaging were distributed in Hornell, New York. The flyers, which had swastikas printed on them, were found across town, on the porches of private homes, and fixed to the Temple Beth-El synagogue as well as a Black-majority church. Three people were charged with 115 counts of felony hate crimes — one per each leaflet that was distributed (New York Times, 12 July 2022). White supremacy has become an increasingly salient motivator of far-right activity, and the dissemination of offline propaganda, such as flyering, has been on the rise.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the most recent data release. Use the date filters to view data for the period covered by this regional overview if necessary.