Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstration activity decreased significantly in the United States while increasing slightly in Canada. In Canada, demonstrations in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran were the primary drivers of activity. In the United States, demonstrations led by labor groups made up the largest share of demonstrations, despite declining significantly compared to the week prior. Meanwhile, demonstrations in support of LGBT+ rights nearly tripled last week in response to the 19 November shooting at Club Q, an LGBT+ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The attack was one of at least four instances of reportedly identity-based violence in the United States last week. Finally, reported right-wing militia, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity decreased slightly last week.
In Canada, demonstrations related to the death of Mahsa Amini and the subsequent protest movement in Iran increased last week, making up the largest share of demonstration events. Demonstrations were coordinated across at least five provinces on 19 November to mark the anniversary of a deadly crackdown by Iranian forces on demonstrations against increased fuel costs in 2019, in which hundreds of demonstrators were reportedly killed. Demonstrations in support of the 2022 Iranian demonstration movement have been ongoing for 10 consecutive weeks.
In the United States, demonstration activity decreased significantly last week, likely impacted by the 24 November Thanksgiving holiday. Labor-led demonstrations followed this trend last week, though they continued to make up the largest share of demonstration events. In California, University of California academic workers affiliated with the United Automobile Workers (UAW) continued to hold several demonstrations for the second consecutive week, calling for increased wages and benefits due to the high cost of living in the state. UAW-led activity made up roughly half of all labor-related demonstration activity last week.
On 19 November, an individual wearing body armor and armed with a semi-automatic rifle reportedly killed five people during an attack on Club Q, an LGBT+ friendly nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before being disarmed by two club patrons. At least another 22 people were injured during the attack. The attack is still under investigation, but the shooter currently faces preliminary hate crime charges. Acts of political violence targeting the LGBT+ community have more than tripled as of mid-November 2022 compared to all of 2021. In response to the shooting, demonstrations in support of the LGBT+ community nearly tripled last week compared to the week prior, marking the highest level of pro-LGBT+ demonstration activity since the end of Pride Month in June 2022, with demonstrations held in at least 17 states and Washington, DC last week (for more, see ACLED’s updated Fact Sheet: Anti-LGBT+ Mobilization on the Rise in the United States).
At least three additional acts of identity-based violence were reported last week. On 19 November, two white men walking near Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania called a Black student a racial slur, then hit the student in the face, leaving a laceration. Police are currently investigating the attack as assault and ethnic intimidation (ABC 6, 21 November 2022). In Tampa, Florida, a man called a Black bar security guard a racial slur before entering his car, firing a gun into the air, and yelling, “white power” (San Antonio Current, 23 November 2022). The perpetrator faces hate crime charges associated with the assault. Meanwhile, on 22 November, a man made several anti-Muslim comments to a woman and slashed her across the face with a blade on the subway at Union Square station in New York City, New York. A bystander who intervened to stop the attack was also injured with cuts to his head and back. The NYPD is currently investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Reported far-right militia and militant social movement activity slightly decreased last week compared to the week prior. On 19 November, the Proud Boys were active during demonstrations in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas. In Tennessee, eight Proud Boys, at least two of whom were armed, assaulted members of the anti-fascist group One People’s Project, who had gathered to oppose the American Renaissance conference in Burns. The American Renaissance group reportedly promotes pseudo-scientific theories and white supremacy (Southern Poverty Law Center). One Proud Boy struck a demonstrator on the head with a baton and another slapped the same demonstrator, who suffered head injuries and later required medical attention. In North Carolina, Proud Boys gathered outside a restaurant in Raleigh in opposition to a Drag Brunch. In Texas, Proud Boys, Groypers, and members of the New Columbia Movement gathered outside a bookstore hosting a Transgender Storytime in Denton. Armed counter-demonstrators, including anti-fascists, surrounded the bookstore to keep the protesters away from the event. Meanwhile, on 25 November, the QAnon-adherent Scooby Doo Crew demonstrated across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix to promote unsubstantiated claims of “election fraud” and to demand a recount of the 2022 election.
Reported openly white supremacist activity also continued last week. On 19 November, White Lives Matter (WLM) affiliates marched through Huntington, West Virginia to promote white nationalism and distribute promotional flyers. On the same day, about a dozen WLM affiliates, at least one armed with a rifle, marched through Spokane, Washington, promoting WLM and antisemitism. On 20 November, antisemitic flyers promoting the Goyim Defense League, which blamed Jewish people for the coronavirus pandemic, were found in Culver City, California. Meanwhile, around 22 November, members of Patriot Front held a sparring training in southern California.
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.