Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity significantly decreased in Canada and moderately increased in the United States. Solidarity rallies sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran continued in both the United States and Canada, while demonstrations in support of Ukraine increased in both countries. In the United States, demonstrations in support of abortion rights spiked last week, making up more than a quarter of demonstration events. Finally, reported far-right, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity in the United States continued at a comparable rate to the week prior.
In Canada, demonstrations in support of Ukraine, sparked by recent Russian missile strikes in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, and demonstrations in support of Iranian protests following the death of Mahsa Amini collectively made up roughly half of all events last week. In addition, demonstrations in support of women and girls’ rights in Afghanistan, sparked by the deadly 30 September suicide attack targeting ethnic Hazara students in Kabul, made up the third-largest share of events last week.
In the United States, demonstrations related to abortion rights made up the largest share of activity last week, increasing by more than three times compared to the week prior. This spike comes largely as a result of the 8 October ‘Women’s Wave’ day of action, coordinated by the Women’s March Foundation, with demonstration events reported in over 70 cities in at least 35 states across the United States. Last week marked the highest number of ‘pro-choice’ demonstrations since early July 2022, which coincided with the tail end of a multi-week spike of demonstration activity following the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. At the same time, ‘pro-life’ demonstrations declined by more than half last week compared to the week prior. The majority of ‘pro-life’ demonstrations were organized to ‘counter’ the ‘Women’s Wave’ demonstrations (for more, see ACLED’s report on Abortion-Related Demonstrations in the United States: Shifting Trends and the Potential for Violence).
Meanwhile, labor-related demonstrations made up the second-largest share of demonstration activity in the United States last week. Demonstrations involving Amazon workers were reported in at least five states in support of unionization campaigns and calling for improved working conditions in Amazon facilities.
Demonstrations in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran also continued last week in the United States, though they declined compared to the week prior, a trend that has persisted since an initial spike in demonstration activity in late September. Meanwhile, demonstrations in response to Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine resulted in the highest number of pro-Ukraine demonstrations in the United States since mid-April (for further on the situation in Ukraine, see ACLED’s Ukraine Crisis research hub).
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, California, demonstrations calling for the resignation of city council members took place last week for six consecutive days in response to a leaked recording of a 2021 conversation involving council members and the president of the County Federation of Labor. In the recording, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez made several comments which have been widely regarded as racist (Los Angeles Times, 12 October 2022). Martinez has since resigned from her position following public outcry.
Reported far-right militia and militant social movement activity in the United States continued last week at a similar rate to the week prior. On 8 October, both the Chino Valley Preparedness Team and the Yavapai County Preparedness Team held recruitment and public information sessions in Chino Valley, Arizona, while the Verde Valley Preparedness Team held a similar session in Cottonwood, Arizona. On 11 October, the Maricopa County Preparedness Team also held a similar recruitment meeting in Surprise, Arizona.
On 8 October, about 20 Proud Boys demonstrated against a Drag Queen Story Hour event in Wheaton, Maryland. On the same day, a group consisting of Proud Boys, Groypers, and Protect Texas Kids demonstrated outside a family-friendly LGBT+ pride event in Frisco, Texas. Among all far-right actors tracked by ACLED, the Proud Boys have participated in the largest share of demonstrations against the LGBT+ community since the beginning data collection in 2020. Overall, demonstrations against LGBT+ rights more than doubled last week compared to the week prior (for more, see ACLED’s Fact Sheet: Anti-LGBT+ Mobilization on the Rise in the United States).
Openly white supremacist activity also continued last week. Members of Patriot Front dropped several banners promoting the group at overpasses in Alabama, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, and Texas. Patriot Front also held sparring trainings around 11 October at undisclosed locations in northern Texas and eastern Pennsylvania. Thus far in 2022, Patriot Front has already participated in roughly twice as many events as the previous year.
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.