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March For Our Lives + January 6th Hearings + Ongoing "Freedom" Protests in Canada + More
On this 11th edition of the Weekly Roundup of Protest Events in North America - June 21, 2022
As you might have noticed, we’ve been experimenting a bit with the formats of this newsletter. Some of those experiments were published, others don’t, but it’s all part of providing you the reader with a meaningful incursion of ongoing protest movements, in a format that can be easily ingested.
In that regards, we’ve made 3 significant changes to our discursus platform.
The first one is that we are now entirely focused on the North American territory, aka Canada and the United States. This became necessary as we are more interested in high quality data and analysis of a subset of protest movements, than just skimming the surface of all of them. Who knows, we might broaden that scope in the future.
The second is that we’ve revamped our interactive monitoring dashboard to that effect. If you are interested in going deeper into North American protest movements and the articles that cover them, we want to make this dashboard as rich and interactive as possible. That means we’re not done with it yet, just continuously improving.
Finally, and this is just a minor change, we’re moving back again to this post’s format for our weekly roundup of North American protest movements. We tried deep dives, as well as just brief summaries of events. But it seems that this format provides the best balance between a somewhat deep dive in a protest movement of interests, as well as briefly summing up all other events that came under our radar during the week. We still plan to do deep dives once in a while, but for now, this format is our home.
Hope you’ll enjoy those changes. If you do, please subscribe if you haven’t and/or share that newsletter to friends you think might enjoy it.
Visit our interactive dashboard of weekly protests for more in-depth data.
From Uvalde to the March for our Lives
There’s been so much to unpack in the past few weeks, between the Roe v. Wade draft decision, the January 6th committee, or the fallouts from Canada’s trucker’s convoy (more on those topics below), etc. But both mass shootings in Buffalo followed by Uvalde, raised an uproar of outrage and protests, with very antagonising points of views on the sources of those evils, and how to prevent them in the future.
Following Uvalde, the initial reactions were ones of stupor, distress and outrage. Some took to the streets early on to remind us to remember the victim’s names… before the whole thing turned political.
And it did turn to a political circus quite fast. Initial reactions from the such of Ted Cruz were to set the tone for the upcoming debates.
Whereas O’Rourke expressed the exasperation felt by those across the political divide.
On one side, the narratives were to be along the lines that gun ownership is out of control in America and that stricter laws need to be adopted to restrict its access.
On the other side, the narratives were to be about focusing on mental health issues, arming teachers and investing in better securing school buildings.
Unfortunately, we’ve heard those arguments repeatedly before, without any sort of serious outcome to prevent mass shootings.
And so we were to witness yet another round of online debates and in-person protests.
Enter the NRA convention, the yearly pelerinage for gun affectionados in the US. By a twisted turn of events, that convention was to be held just a few days after the Uvalde tragedy. This was to be the first boiling point in a series of flaring protests from those imploring officials to adopt stricter gun control laws.
Across the country, people gathered here and there, exasperated by the non-stop violence due to vast access to guns. Those protests were a series of uncoordinated efforts that eventually led to the March For Our Lives weekend of massive protests.
Political pundits stayed on point with their common narratives that essentially denounced or demanded the status quo. But this time, it seems that the pressure coming from the streets did lead up to a bi-partisan legislative proposal that would enhance background check for to-be owners aged 18 to 21 years old. As well the bill would increase funding for mental health as well as secure educational facilities.
Elsewhere around North America
🦹♂️ I won’t dwell on this January 6th committee but needless to say that what we’re learning on this protest turned riot is ample demonstration of how protests, which are an essential aspect of healthy democracies, are vulnerable and can easily be overtaken by actors with a malicious agenda.
This timeline from the New York Times on how the Proud Boys essentially acted as the “undercover agents”, is a meticulous account of their operation and how they successfully turned this protest into a riot.
🚛 The Canadian trucker’s convoy is still making the news. Between the trials of key figures (Tamara Lich, Tyson Billings and Pat King who is awaiting trial in jail), as well as the emergence of conspiracy theories such as the Klondike Papers, which links a church and the trucker's convoy in a twisted plot to overthrow the Canadian government, we might still be in for another Summer of protests in Ottawa. Veteran James Topp is leading the charge, walking from Vancouver to Ottawa to pressure the Canadian government, demanding the end of all « federal government mandates that require vaccination, testing or quarantine as a condition for employment. »
🏠 The leaked Supreme Court draft decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade, which secures abortion rights in the US, has led to many protests, including in front of Justice’s residences. Following the arrest of a man charged with attempted murder on Kavanaugh, as well as protests from a pro-choice group in front of Coney Barret’s residence, Congress to pass legislation that would provide more security for the families of Supreme Court justices.
🏳️🌈 Pride month celebrations have been under attack throughout the US, but none has been closer to worrying consequence than in Idaho, where 31 members of the far-right extremist group Patriot Front have been arrested, just as they were to execute an operation to disrupt a pride parade.
🌳 British Columbia is home to ancient forests with magnificent and very old trees. Those facts alone are not enough to prevent logging companies to cut down those trees, which have high market value. One group, Save Old Growth, is intent on stopping that practice and resorts to blocking roads that lead to those sites. As reported by the Vancouver Sun, the group has more highway disruption plans for the Summer. “The plan is to keep escalating until the government agrees to a meeting to discuss legislation to stop old-growth logging,”
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