Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity decreased slightly in the United States and declined significantly in Canada. Labor demonstrations continued to make up the largest share of events in both countries, though they declined substantially following a spike around Labor Day the week prior. In the United States, ‘pro-choice’ demonstrations remained stable last week compared to the week prior, making up the second-largest share of demonstration events. Finally, reported far-right, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity increased significantly compared to the week prior, with a spike in activity centering around the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
In Canada, labor demonstrations calling for better pay and working conditions made up the largest share of events last week, despite decreasing by more than three-quarters compared to the week prior. A small number of demonstrations, which nevertheless made up the second-largest share of events last week, showed support for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) groups and called for more action to help solve cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
In the United States, labor demonstrations also made up the largest share of demonstration events, though they declined by around half compared to the week prior. The Minnesota Nurses Association, a National Nurses United (NNU) affiliate, held demonstrations calling for increased wages and staffing ratios across Minnesota last week, making up roughly a quarter of all labor demonstrations. These demonstrations were accompanied by a strike involving more than 15,000 nurses, making it the largest strike of private-sector nurses in the history of the United States (Washington Post, 12 September 2022). Meanwhile, the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) held daily demonstrations in Sacramento, California, last week demanding that California Governor Gavin Newsom sign legislation to streamline the unionization process for farm workers. The UFW recently completed a 23-day march of roughly 250 miles from Delano, California to Sacramento to protest for this cause, marking a period of increased activity from the group.
Demonstrations in support of access to abortion made up the second-largest share of demonstration events last week, following Senator Lindsey Graham’s 12 September introduction of a federal bill to ban abortions at 15 weeks (NPR, 13 September 2022). At the state level, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a near-total ban on abortion into law on 16 September (Politico, 16 September 2022), while a similar law in Indiana went into effect on 15 September (NPR, 14 September 2022). Demonstrations against all three legislative moves were held throughout the week.
Meanwhile, several violent attacks took place around the country. On 11 September, an unknown person smashed a window at the Nebraska Republican Party Headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska (3NewsNow, 12 September 2022). On 13 September, a man screamed antisemitic remarks and punched an elderly Jewish man in Queens, New York, in an unprovoked attack (Audacy, 15 September 2022). The perpetrator was later arrested and charged with hate crime assault. This incident marks at least the 10th violent assault targeting members of the Jewish community in New York state since the beginning of 2022. Meanwhile, around 15 September, hoax bomb and mass shooting threats were called in to at least 30 schools across the country (USA Today, 18 September 2022). Police did not immediately identify any unifying factor behind the schools targeted with threats. Earlier this year, multiple bomb threats were also reported during the first week of school following winter break, particularly targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Black-majority schools (for more on the bomb threats against HBCUs, see this ACLED fact sheet).
Reported militia and militant social movement activity increased sharply last week compared to the week prior. In Arizona, the Verde Valley Preparedness Team (VVPT) held a recruitment and public information meeting in Cottonwood on 10 September, while the Chino Valley Preparedness Team (CVPT) held a similar meeting the same day in Chino Valley. Also on 10 September, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) held a recruitment and shooting competition in Powhatan, Virginia. Meanwhile, on 13 September, the Maricopa County Preparedness Team (MCPT) held a recruitment meeting in Surprise, Arizona.
The United States saw particularly heightened white supremacist and white nationalist activity last week, especially around the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. On 10 September, members of the Nationalist Social Club (NSC) held a demonstration and dropped two banners, one carrying a white nationalist message and the other blaming Jewish people for the September 11 attacks, at an overpass in Saugus, Massachusetts. A large crowd gathered the next day in Saugus to support the Jewish community and to reject the messaging (CBS, 14 September 2022). The NSC also dropped similar antisemitic banners in Danvers, Massachusetts, on 10 September, and members of the group dropped banners reading “Reject Degeneracy” and “Defend New England” in Meriden, Connecticut, on 11 September.
Patriot Front held a large number of banner drops last week as well, marking its second-most active week since the start of ACLED coverage in 2020. Patriot Front dropped banners promoting the group at overpasses in multiple states, including Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Washington. Patriot Front also held several training events last week, including sparring trainings in southern Texas, eastern Massachusetts, central Indiana, and eastern Pennsylvania. Patriot Front additionally handed out flyers reading “Defend American Labor” to people attending a fair in Cheyenne, Wyoming, around 13 September.
Finally, on 11 September, members of an Active Club associated with the Rise Above Movement gathered at a pride event in Boise, Idaho, to demonstrate against the event and the LGBT+ community more broadly. Members of the group held signs reading “defend white children” and “white youth revolt.”
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED. Use the date filters to view data for the one-week period covered by this Regional Overview.