Last week in the United States and Canada, demonstrations led by labor groups calling for better pay and working conditions made up the largest share of events in both countries. Demonstrations in solidarity with the anti-lockdown movement in China were also recorded in both the United States and Canada last week. In the United States, demonstrations in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran more than doubled, and demonstrations led by environmental groups spiked as well. Finally, reported militia, militant social movement, and openly white supremacist activity decreased in the United States.
Solidarity demonstrations with ongoing protest movements in China and Iran took place in the United States and Canada last week. Iranian Scholars for Liberty organized an international day of action on 30 November, holding demonstrations on dozens of college campuses across both countries (Victoria News, 30 November 2022). Meanwhile, supporters and members of the Chinese community in both countries held rallies in solidarity with the ongoing anti-lockdown demonstrations in China. Many of these demonstrations also called for justice for the 10 people reportedly killed in an apartment fire during a lockdown in the Chinese city of Urumqi (CNN, 2 December 2022). In the United States, two of these demonstrations involved reports of violence. On 28 November, a man approached a demonstrator at the Columbia University Low Library in Manhattan, New York and hit her repeatedly in the head, knocking her unconscious. The woman was hospitalized but was reported to be in a stable condition (New York Post, 2 December 2022). In another case, a student filming and allegedly harassing demonstrators at a solidarity demonstration at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana punched a demonstrator in the face after the demonstrator confronted the student and tried to take his phone away.
In Canada, actions led by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) were the largest contributors to labor demonstration activity last week. Federal workers affiliated with PSAC held demonstrations in at least four provinces to call for stalled contract negotiations to continue, and the inclusion of measures relating to higher pay, increased workforce diversity, and remote work accessibility (Windsor Star, 28 November 2022). Meanwhile, CUPE-associated education workers also called for increased wages on a national day of action organized for 30 November.
In the United States, academic workers affiliated with the United Automobile Workers (UAW) continued to hold demonstrations across several University of California (UC) campuses for the third consecutive week. The demonstrations calling for increased wages and better benefits continued amid ongoing negotiations between the UAW and the UC system (Detroit Free Press, 4 December 2022). Meanwhile, on 2 December, railroad workers and supporters gathered outside an event attended by President Joe Biden in Boston, Massachusetts to demonstrate against a forced settlement between major railroad companies and railroad employee unions. The bill, which was negotiated by President Biden, was passed by Congress and signed by the president on 2 December in an effort to avert a nationwide railroad strike called for 9 December. The bill also made any railway strike activity illegal (CNBC, 2 December 2022). Several unions had rejected the bill, claiming their safety- and benefits-related grievances were not addressed (Vice News, 5 December 2022). Earlier in the week, a demonstration against the bill was held in Washington, DC.
Environmental demonstrations spiked in the United States last week, led largely by two coordinated series of demonstrations in California. On 28 November, environmental groups, including Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement, led demonstrations against oil companies unreasonably increasing prices, calling for a move to renewable energy sources. On 5 December, California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled legislation that would punish “price gouging” by oil refineries (CBS, 5 December 2022). Meanwhile, on 1 December, demonstrations against the California Public Utilities Commission’s proposed changes to rooftop solar incentives, which would substantially reduce so-called ‘net-metering payments,’ were held across roughly a dozen cities in the state (Spectrum News 1, 1 December 2022). Environmental demonstrations reached their highest levels last week since the Global Climate Strike led by the Fridays for Future movement in mid-September.
Reported far-right militia and militant social movement activity decreased in the United States last week. In Arizona, the Chino Valley and Verde Valley Preparedness Teams held two separate informational recruitment meetings, on 26 November in Chino Valley and Cottonwood Valley, respectively. Meanwhile, on 28 November, a group of QAnon adherents gathered outside the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors building in Phoenix, Arizona to make unsubstantiated claims of “voter fraud” in the 2022 midterm elections. Similarly, on 30 November, the founder of FEC United participated in another demonstration against “voter fraud” outside Colorado’s Republican Party Headquarters in Greenwood Village.
Openly white supremacist activities were likewise reported in some states. On 27 November, antisemitic flyers promoting the Goyim Defense League and blaming the Jewish people for “grooming,” among other messages, were found in the Dutchtown neighborhood of Saint Louis, Missouri. Around 2 December, Patriot Front affiliates dropped a banner in Spokane, Washington and also held a sparring training in northern Utah (for more on far-right mobilization in the United States, see ACLED’s report: From the Capitol Riot to the Midterms: Shifts in American Far-Right Mobilization Between 2021 and 2022).
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.