Over the past four weeks, demonstration activity continued at a stable rate in the United States compared to the month prior, while demonstration activity in Canada moderately increased. Labor demonstrations made up the largest share of events in both countries, while numerous violent attacks were also reported throughout the month. Finally, far-right, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity remained stable compared to the month prior.
In Canada, labor demonstrations calling for better pay and working conditions made up the largest share of events over the past month, reaching their peak around Labor Day on 5 September. The week of Labor Day saw the highest single-week level of activity since the ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstrations in February 2022 (for more on the ‘Freedom Convoy’ events, see this ACLED fact sheet).
On 13 August, a group of QAnon adherents led by Romana Didulo — the self-declared “Queen of Canada” and well-known Canadian QAnon figure — gathered outside the Peterborough, Ontario police department to demonstrate against mask mandates and business closures during the pandemic. After members of the group tried to conduct ‘citizen’s arrests’ of police officers, three of them were arrested for charges including assaulting police (The Guardian, 23 August 2022).
In the United States, labor demonstrations also made up the largest share of demonstration events, spiking around Labor Day and reaching their highest levels since the week of May Day 2022, another labor-related holiday. The United Farm Workers (UFW) were particularly active over the past month, thanks in large part to a series of daily marches beginning on 3 August in Delano, California, and ending on 26 August at the state Capitol building in Sacramento, California (Sacramento Bee, 29 August 2022). Protesters participating in the marches called on Governor Gavin Newsom to make it “easier for farmworkers to vote in union elections.” The UFW continued to rally across California after the marches, especially in Sacramento, marking their most active single week since the week of Cesar Chavez Day in March 2022.
Multiple violent attacks on civilians took place over the past month in the United States, many of which are being investigated as hate crimes. On 18 August, a man yelled anti-Asian slurs at a group of Asian-Americans in Washington, DC. He then followed the group and threw a brick through the driver’s side window of their car, causing non-life-threatening injuries to the driver. On 21 August, two people attacked at least two men dressed in traditional Orthodox Jewish attire with a fire extinguisher in Brooklyn, New York. Another Orthodox Jewish man was slapped in the face in an unprovoked attack the next day in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, in Berkeley, California, three people attacked a homeless transgender woman, setting her tent on fire and attempting to hit her with a shovel. On 3 September, at least two white men screamed anti-Black and anti-Latino racial slurs at a man in New Haven, Connecticut, and beat him severely, causing serious injuries.
Meanwhile, an investigative journalist was fatally stabbed at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 2 September. Police later arrested Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles in connection with the murder. The journalist had previously written several critical articles on Telles (Fox5 Las Vegas, 13 September 2022).
Multiple mass shootings also took place over the past month. On 28 August, a man armed with a shotgun killed himself and two others in Bend, Oregon. Other weapons and Molotov cocktails were later recovered from his car. The shooter reportedly published a manifesto online in which he claimed he wished to commit a “national tragedy” (New York Post, 30 August 2022). That same day, a man in tactical gear and armed with a rifle shot and killed two people in Phoenix, Arizona before shooting randomly at businesses in the area and attempting to throw a Molotov cocktail through the window of a restaurant, which failed to ignite. The man then exchanged gunfire with police before shooting and killing himself (NBC, 9 September 2022).
In an instance of police violence on 30 August in Columbus, Ohio, officers shot an unarmed 20-year-old Black man in his home while attempting to serve a felony warrant (NBC, 9 September 2022).
Reported far-right and militant social movement activity continued at a stable rate over the past month compared to the month prior, with several militia groups holding recruitment events across multiple states. The Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT), the Chino Valley Preparedness Team (CVPT), the Verde Valley Preparedness Team (VVPT), and the Lions of Liberty held recruitment events and public informational meetings in Arizona. In Virginia, the Virginia Citizens Defense League held a recruitment event and public informational meeting in Henrico. In California, the California State Militia’s Echo Company conducted a two-day training, likely near Redding.
Meanwhile, at least one Three Percenters adherent, a man dressed similarly to the Boogaloo Boys, and one self-avowed white supremacist participated in a Phoenix, Arizona demonstration against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on 13 August. At least five demonstrators at the event were armed (Twitter @FordFischer, 13 August 2022). Three Percenters were also present at a demonstration against the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana on 27 August.
Members of the Proud Boys participated in a demonstration outside a Norwalk, California school district meeting to protest a proposed Planned Parenthood clinic (Twitter @VPS_Reports, 20 August 2022). Notably, members of Proud Boys were also seen working at polling stations for the Republican midterm primaries in Miami-Dade County on 23 August (Miami New Times, 24 August 2022). Elsewhere, members of the 1776 Restoration Movement gathered outside a Washington, DC jail in support of detainees incarcerated in connection with the riot at the United States Capitol on 6 January 2021.
Far-right groups also participated in numerous anti-LGBT+ demonstrations over the past month. On 27 August, members of the Proud Boys participated in a ‘National Straight Pride Coalition’ demonstration in Modesto, California, which was countered by more than 250 pro-LGBT+ demonstrators. The two groups briefly fought with each other, and pro-LGBT+ demonstrators threw objects, including fireworks and smoke bombs. Police officers fired pepper spray pellets into the crowd and arrested three people (Modesto Bee, 29 August 2022). Members of the Proud Boys, alongside the founder of Protect Texas Kids, both of which referred to LGBT+ people as “groomers” and “pedophiles,” were also present outside a ‘drag brunch’ in Roanoke, Texas on 28 August to demonstrate against the event (Dallas Voice, 2 September 2022). Armed members of the John Brown Gun Club provided security for the brunch (Fox4News, 29 August 2022). On 3 September, members of the Proud Boys, along with QAnon and White Lives Matter adherents, gathered for an anti-LGBT+ demonstration in Los Angeles, California, where they were countered by anti-fascist demonstrators (LA Times, 3 September 2022).
Meanwhile, openly white supremacist organizations were also active over the past month. On 13 August, members of the National Justice Party demonstrated in Akron, Ohio over the killing of a white teenager, holding signs reading “stop anti-white hate” (Twitter @Klaus_Arminius, 13 August 2022). Meanwhile, on 13 August, members of the Nationalist Social Club dropped a banner reading “Keep New England White” at an overpass in Nashua, New Hampshire. On 21 August, members of White Lives Matter gathered at an intersection in Bozeman, Montana, holding signs to promote the group and its cause. In Davis, California, members of the Rise Above Movement held a rally and dropped anti-Semitic banners on 28 August.
Patriot Front remained active over the past month as well. On 3 September, around 75 uniformed and masked members of Patriot Front wielding shields, including the group’s founder and leader Thomas Rousseau, marched through Indianapolis, Indiana, holding signs bearing slogans including “America is Not for Sale” and “Reclaim America” (Fox59, 5 September 2022). Patriot Front also dropped numerous promotional banners over interstates and overpasses across the country during the past month. The group additionally held several sparring training events, including in southern California, Massachusetts, southern Florida, north Texas, and eastern Pennsylvania. Patriot Front members also vandalized artwork on the side of an immigrant-owned business in Fargo, North Dakota, marking at least the third time the business has been vandalized by the group (INFORUM, 7 September 2022).
Meanwhile, the Goyim Defense League distributed anti-Semitic flyers over the past month in Raleigh, North Carolina; Freeport, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; and Lindenwold, New Jersey. Similarly, on 27 August, letters containing anti-Black racial slurs and promoting the Loyal White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan were found at several homes in majority-Black neighborhoods in Enfield, California. The letters were discovered in the aftermath of a decision by the local mayor to demolish a Confederate monument in the town (The Daily Herald, 1 September 2022).
Finally, on 5 September, members of the New Jersey European Heritage Association, holding a banner reading “Defend American labor, close the border,” attempted to participate in a Labor Day parade in South Plainfield, New Jersey. They were removed by police for lacking approval to participate (CBS, 6 September 2022).
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED.