Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity decreased slightly in the United States while significantly increasing in Canada. In both the United States and Canada, labor-related demonstrations made up the largest share of events, while demonstrations in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran made up the second-largest share. Demonstrations calling for gun control increased in the United States last week, largely due to a series of demonstrations held on 1 November in observance of Día de los Muertos commemorating the school children killed in the 24 May shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. In addition, the Proud Boys continued to participate in anti-LGBT+ demonstrations amid a slight decline in the overall number of events last week. Reported militia, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity increased slightly in the United States.
In Canada, demonstrations led by education workers affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees spiked last week after negotiations with the government over legislation affecting their pay and working conditions broke down. Dozens of demonstrations took place across Ontario on 4 November, despite legislation passed by Ontario’s government on 3 November that prevents these workers from striking (CTV News, 4 November 2022; Toronto Star, 4 November 2022). Meanwhile, demonstrations related to the death of Mahsa Amini continued at a stable rate last week, following a surge in activity the week prior. Notably, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a solidarity protest held in Ottawa, Ontario.
In the United States, demonstrations in support of gun control increased last week as protesters across Texas organized tributes for Día de los Muertos – a Mexican holiday when families memorialize their dead – to honor the victims of the 24 May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Consequently, demonstrations in favor of gun control reached their highest levels since the immediate aftermath of the Uvalde shooting.
Meanwhile, the total number of anti-LGBT+ demonstrations declined slightly last week compared to the week prior. The Proud Boys were present at more than half of all anti-LGBT+ demonstrations during the week, including events recorded in Palm Springs and San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida; and Sanford, North Carolina. Additional anti-LGBT+ demonstrations took place in Washington, Oklahoma, and Texas.
At least one violent event targeting the LGBT+ community was also reported last week. On 31 October, an unknown man broke a door and windows at a doughnut shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before tossing a Molotov cocktail into the building and stealing equipment, including a cash register. The perpetrator left an anti-LGBT+ note with Christian scripture at the scene. This incident took place two weeks after the restaurant held a drag event (Washington Post, 4 November 2022) (for more, see ACLED’s Fact Sheet: Anti-LGBT+ Mobilization on the Rise in the United States).
Meanwhile, on 31 October, an unknown individual knocked Richard Ringer, a Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania State House, unconscious at his home near Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The attack came after Ringer confronted the man, who was attempting to open his garage. Ringer says his house has previously been vandalized with threatening messages relating to his political activity (Vice News, 1 November 2022) (for more, see ACLED’s report Far-Right Violence and the American Midterm Elections). This marks at least the third incident of violence targeting a political figure during the lead-up to the midterm elections on 8 November, following separate attacks on two California politicians the week prior.
Reported far-right militia and militant social movement activity rose slightly in the United States last week. On 29 October, about three dozen people, including members of Proud Boys, gathered in Hialeah, Florida, in support of a GOP canvasser who was allegedly beaten by two men as he was canvassing outside one of their homes on 23 October. An investigation is ongoing, and police have not concluded whether the attack was politically motivated. Meanwhile, on 1 November, a man affiliated with both the Sons of Liberty and the Boogaloo Boys was arrested by the FBI on charges relating to online threats he had made and the unlawful possession of weapons. FBI investigators said the arrested man planned to carry out targeted violence against a police officer, government officials, Facebook’s parent company Meta, and the IRS (WTOL 11, 2 November 2022).
Openly white supremacist activity in the United States continued at a slightly higher rate last week than the week prior. Patriot Front was especially active last week, with members of the group dropping banners at overpasses in Massachusetts, Virginia, Utah, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas, and also distributing propaganda flyers in Lewiston, Idaho. The group additionally held several sparring trainings last week, including in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, and South Dakota. Meanwhile, on 29 October, a group of white nationalists held banners reading “White is the true race” at a pedestrian bridge in Moses Lake, Washington.
Additionally, numerous incidents involving the public display of antisemitic messages were recorded last week, including multiple high-profile incidents in Florida. In Jacksonville, antisemitic messages were projected onto buildings and a football stadium where a game was taking place, while additional antisemitic banners were hung elsewhere in the city. In Orlando, on 29 October, members of the National Socialist Movement marched around the ICON Center holding large Nazi flags and wearing red armbands emblazoned with swastikas. Elsewhere, in New York City, antisemitic and racist messages were also found on flyers sent to three African American and Jewish-owned restaurants on City Island in the Bronx borough.
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.