Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity moderately decreased in the United States and continued to decline in Canada. In Canada, demonstrations in commemoration of the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women made up the largest share of events. In the United States, demonstration activity was primarily driven by labor events last week. In addition, demonstrations related to abortion increased by roughly half last week, making up the third-largest share of events. Meanwhile, reported far-right, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity in the United States continued at a similar rate as the week prior.
The death of Mahsa Amini in Iran continued to spark solidarity rallies last week. In both Canada and the United States, demonstrations in solidarity with demonstrators in Iran made up the second-largest share of events in each country. In the United States, solidarity demonstrations were recorded in 18 states and Washington, DC, with the largest number of events taking place in California.
In Canada, demonstrations led by Indigenous groups continued to make up the largest share of events for the second consecutive week, though they declined by more than two-thirds following a spike in activity the week prior. Indigenous-led demonstrations last week coincided with the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women on 4 October, as demonstrators gathered to honor and demand justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
In the United States, labor-related demonstrations made up the largest share of events last week. Meanwhile, both ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ demonstrations increased by roughly half compared to the week prior. In Kentucky, demonstrations were related to an upcoming November vote on a constitutional amendment that would explicitly affirm that access to abortion is not a protected right in the state. In Wisconsin, meanwhile, demonstration events were related to Governor Tony Evers’s proposal to hold a state referendum on a pre-Civil War law banning abortion. The state’s Republican legislature declined to take steps towards holding such a referendum on 4 October. A Day of Student Action led by the Graduate Student Action Network and the Young Democratic Socialists of America on 6 October accounted for more than half of ‘pro-choice’ demonstrations last week. ‘Life chain’ demonstrations organized around 2 October constituted roughly half of all ‘pro-life’ demonstrations.
Multiple instances of targeted property destruction also occurred last week in the United States. In the Wellington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, an unknown number of anti-fascists lit a truck on fire. The arson attack happened outside of ‘The Rise of the Black Sun’ music festival that featured neo-Nazi bands adorned with anti-Semitic attire. On 3 October, at the Catholic Mary’s Nativity-St. Ann Parish in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York, a man drove a vehicle at a reverend before exiting the vehicle, destroying a religious statue, and defecating on the church sign. There were no reported injuries and a hate crimes investigation is ongoing. Additionally, on 5 October, the windows of the Native American-owned Bison Coffeehouse in northwest Portland, Oregon, were smashed and a fire extinguisher was used to vandalize the interior of the building. While an investigation is ongoing, the vandalism may be in retaliation for the business advertising a “Coffee with a Cop” event (Oregonian, 5 October 2022).
Reported far-right and militant social movement activity remained relatively stable in the United States compared to the week prior. In Columbus, Georgia, about a dozen masked demonstrators affiliated with the Proud Boys gathered in opposition to a ColGay Pride event on 1 October. Despite the group’s activity in the vicinity, the event continued along with a heightened local law enforcement presence.
Openly white supremacist activity also continued last week. Patriot Front affiliates assisted with Hurricane Ian disaster relief efforts by providing food, building repair, and debris clearance services on 1 October. Their efforts were extensively documented on the group’s online platforms. On 6 October, Patriot Front members also held a sparring training at an undisclosed location in Tennessee. In Lewiston, Maine, members of the Nationalist Social Club 131 gathered to demand an increased prison sentence for a Somali refugee that had been sentenced to nine months in prison for killing a white American. Demonstrators at one point performed a Nazi salute and held signs reading “End Somali Violence.” Lewiston is known for its large Somali immigrant community (WCSH6, 4 October 2022).
Meanwhile, white supremacist flyers were distributed by White Lives Matter (WLM) affiliates in the New York cities of Chatham, New Paltz, and Rosendale. Similar literature was distributed by other WLM affiliates in Harrison County, Indiana, the next day. Additionally, anti-Semitic flyers were distributed by the Goyim Defense League (GDL) on 2 October in Cheyenne, Wyoming, including at the home of Republican Wyoming State Representative and Majority Whip Jared Olsen. Additional GDL flyers were also found on 4 October in the California cities of Pasadena and San Marino, as well as on 6 October in the South Carolina cities of Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. These flyer drops coincided with the 4-6 October Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
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.