Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity spiked in the United States while remaining relatively stable in Canada. In Canada, demonstrations led by workers calling for better pay and working conditions, as well as demonstrations against the proposed Ontario Bill 23, were the primary drivers of activity last week. In the United States, labor-related protests increased by more than 10 times last week, making up roughly half of all demonstration events and reaching their highest levels since ACLED coverage began in 2020. The largest contributor to this surge was demonstration activity coordinated by Starbucks Workers United (SWU) calling for unionization and better working conditions. Finally, reported far-right militia, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity increased slightly in the United States.
In Canada, labor demonstrations coordinated by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) continued in Ontario last week. Despite the Ontario government’s withdrawal of the proposed legislation that would affect their pay and working conditions, negotiations between the government and CUPE broke down again on 16 November over staffing level guarantees.1As of 20 November, a tentative wage increase agreement has been reached, though negotiations are continuing (CBC, 16 November 2022; CBC, 20 November 2022).
Demonstrators also rallied throughout Ontario in opposition to Bill 23, which aims to increase home construction amid an ongoing provincial housing crisis. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a community group that led many of these demonstrations, claims this legislation would restrict local planning powers and reduce affordable housing (Ottawa Citizen, 19 November 2022).
In the United States, SWU affiliates led walk-outs and demonstrations across the country during Starbucks’s 17 November ‘Red Cup Day’ promotion. The demonstrators called for Starbucks to bargain with the labor group on issues such as wages and staffing levels.
Meanwhile, in California, University of California (UC) academic workers affiliated with the United Automobile Workers (UAW) demonstrated throughout all 10 UC campuses, calling for increased wages and benefits due to the high cost of living in the state. Strike organizers say that the 14 November strike was triggered by the UC system’s unfair labor practices during bargaining between the system and the UAW (San Francisco Chronicle, 14 November 2022; New York Times, 22 November 2022).
Reported far-right militia and militant social movement activity continued in the United States last week at a slightly higher rate than the week prior. On 12 November, the Verde Valley Preparedness Team and Chino Valley Preparedness Team held informational recruitment meetings in the Arizona cities of Chino Valley and Cottonwood, respectively. On 15 November, members of the Groypers and Proud Boys rallied outside of Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, in support of Trump’s 2024 reelection campaign announcement. Some demonstrators chanted an anti-LGBT+ slur at a lone counter-demonstrator. A few of those present also promoted QAnon conspiracy theories with signs and clothing. Outside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Arizona, armed individuals wearing symbols associated with III%ers, Boogaloo Boys, and the neo-fascist American Nationalist Initiative gathered on 12 and 14 November to demonstrate against unsubstantiated claims of “voter fraud” while votes were being tabulated inside.
Openly white supremacist activity also continued last week. On 13 November, police shot a man who claimed to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan in Springfield, Ohio. The shootout came after the man pulled a gun on a passenger he had agreed to drive in his car to a gas station, claiming he was sent by the Ku Klux Klan to kill the passenger. The passenger fled the vehicle and ran into a nearby convenience store (Dayton 24/7 Now, 13 November 2022).
Meanwhile, Patriot Front affiliates dropped banners in Idaho, Massachusetts, and Utah; held a sparring training in southern California; and held a donation drive for homeless veterans in Kansas City, Missouri. In Georgia, the Goyim Defense League distributed antisemitic flyers in Cobb County. The flyers supported recent comments by American rapper Kanye West that were widely condemned as antisemitic.
Some openly white supremacist groups were also present at anti-LGBT+ demonstrations last week.2The 19 November mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado will be covered in next week’s United States and Canada Regional Overview. On 13 November, armed white nationalists and members of the Proud Boys participated in a demonstration outside a bakery in Concord, New Hampshire, against a Drag Queen Story Hour. Counter-demonstrators, including local LGBT+ support group 603 Equality and several Concord City Councilors, rallied opposite the demonstrations and in support of the LGBT+ community. On the same day, members of Patriot Front participated in another anti-LGBT+ demonstration, rallying outside a theatre hosting a drag brunch in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At least one member of the League of the South was present at the demonstration alongside a man who shouted “white power” while giving a Nazi salute. These demonstrators were also met by counter-demonstrators who rallied in support of the drag brunch (for more on anti-LGBT+ mobilization in the United States, see this updated ACLED fact sheet).
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.