United States & Canada
Posted: 6 July 2023
United States: Ongoing far-right militia, militant social movement, and white supremacist training events and other activities
Activity involving far-right groups and militant social movements continued at a roughly stable rate in June compared to May. In Arizona – the state with the highest levels of far-right activity in June – the Lions of Liberty, along with the Maricopa County, Chino Valley, and Verde Valley Preparedness Teams, continued to hold regular informational recruitment meetings. Meanwhile, Veterans on Patrol (VOP) activity in Arizona increased moderately in June, while Proud Boys activity roughly doubled following a lull in activity in May. All Proud Boy activity in June involved anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations, in line with the increasing engagement of far-right groups on anti-LGBTQ+ issues observed in 2022 (for more, see ACLED’s fact sheet: Anti-LBGTQ+ Mobilization in the United States). The group also participated in two violent demonstrations in Glendale, California.1Decca Muldowney, ‘J6ers and Proud Boys Among Anti-LGBT Crowd Outside Glendale School Board Meeting’ The Daily Beast, 21 June 2023
Openly white supremacist activity also continued in June. A coalition of white supremacist organizations, including various Active Clubs, the Rose City Nationalists (RCN), Vinland Rebels, and White Lives Matter affiliates, formed in early 2023 called the Northwest Nationalist Network (3N). This coalition became more active in demonstrations in June, attending at least two anti-LGBTQ+ events. In addition, a training and networking event involving Patriot Front and the Cincinnati Active Club suggests that coalition-building between openly white supremacist groups may be increasing. Meanwhile, the Goyim Defense League (GDL) increased its distribution of antisemitic fliers last month, dropping them in California, Georgia, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. Over half of these flier distributions occurred in California. The GDL was also present at two demonstrations at synagogues in Florida on 23 and 24 June. During the 23 June demonstration, the group’s leader was arrested for disorderly conduct. White nationalist fliers were also distributed by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Patriot Front, and White Lives Matter (WLM). As a result, June marked the largest number of recorded flier drops in a single month by these groups since ACLED began collecting data for the United States in 2020.
Patriot Front activity decreased moderately overall in June compared to May. However, affiliates of the group held training sessions in at least nine different states and dropped banners in at least seven. Additionally, they were present in at least two separate anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations. Meanwhile, white supremacist Active Clubs – inspired by and loosely affiliated with the Rise Above Movement – also held training sessions in three states and participated in two anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations, marking the most active month for Active Clubs since 2020.
Despite ongoing cross-pollination between various far-right militant social movements and white supremacist groups, a notable incident during a 24 June anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration in Oregon City, Oregon, may have marked a turning point in the relationships between certain actors. During the demonstration, members of the Proud Boys brawled with the members of the RCN, pulling face coverings off of RCN members’ faces, removing the public anonymity that members of both groups generally try to preserve. The brawl appears to have originated from a personal dispute but involved multiple members of both groups.2Chloe Mayer, ‘Oregon Video Claiming To Show Far Right Groups Clashing Sparks Fed Theory’ Newsweek, 26 June 2023 Following the fight, acrimony between the two groups appears to have spread online. Members of white nationalist Telegram channels openly threatened and criticized the Proud Boys, and at least one Proud Boys chapter distanced itself from others as a “Rebel Chapter” that openly embraces white nationalism.3Global Project Against Hate and Extremism,‘Are the Proud Boys Imploding?,’ 27 June 2023 At the same time, other Proud Boy chapters showed support for the chapter in Oregon and posted anti-white supremacist messages.
United States and Canada: Rise in pro-LGBTQ+ and anti-LGBTQ+ activity during Pride Month
During Pride Month in June, demonstrations in opposition to LGBTQ+ rights rose to the highest single-month levels ever recorded in the United States. Following a trend seen in previous months, many of these demonstrations were held in opposition to drag and Pride events, in addition to other forms of LGBTQ+ expression as well as gender-affirming care. Anti-LGBTQ+ activity was recorded in 26 states and Washington, DC during the month, but concentrated in California, New York, and Texas, with just under 20% of all anti-LGBTQ+ events taking place in California. Nevertheless, demonstrations supporting LGBTQ+ rights outpaced anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations by more than double, and around half of all anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations were met by opposing demonstrators who showed support for LGBTQ+ rights.
Similarly, Canada experienced its highest recorded levels of both pro-LGBTQ+ and anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations since ACLED began collecting data for the country in 2021. Pro-LGBTQ+ demonstrations outpaced anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations by roughly 50%. Anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations occurred in five provinces, with over 50% of these demonstrations taking place in Ontario. Over 70% of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations were met by opposing demonstrators showing support for LGBTQ+ rights.