United States & Canada
Posted: 3 March 2023
United States & Canada: Demonstrations in support of Ukraine spike on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion
Solidarity demonstrations with Ukraine spiked around the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Demonstrations supporting Ukraine and calling for peace reached their highest levels in Canada and the United States since the initial wave of demonstrations following the invasion, which lasted well into March 2022. In the United States, the geographic range of these demonstrations in February was more limited than the initial 2022 wave, with events reported in 17 states compared to 47 states last year.
United States: Ongoing far-right militia, militant social movement, and white supremacist training events and other activities
Far-right groups and militant social movements continued to engage in propaganda distribution, banner drops, training events, patrols, and other activities in February, though reported activity declined overall compared to the month prior. In Arizona, the Maricopa County Preparedness Team, Lions of Liberty, and the Chino Valley Preparedness Team held recruitment events. Meanwhile, the Arizona Border Recon group conducted a patrol along the border with Mexico in Arizona.
Members of the Proud Boys participated in multiple anti-LGBT+ demonstrations in California, Maryland, and North Carolina. Proud Boys also gathered alongside Oath Keepers for a gun rights rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Members of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers also demonstrated their support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a demonstration billed as anti-war in Washington, DC. The Patriot Socialist Front, a group recently established by one of the organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was also present at this demonstration.
Openly white supremacist activity was also recorded in February. Members of the Rose City Nationalist Club and Evergreen Active Club dropped banners with white nationalist messaging and demonstrated in support of white supremacy in Portland, Oregon. Meanwhile, Patriot Front also dropped banners across at least 10 states and held training sessions in Tennessee and Florida. Members of Patriot Front, alongside White Lives Matter supporters, also passed out supplies and promotional materials in East Palestine, Ohio – the town where a toxic train disaster took place on 3 February.
Similarly, the Ku Klux Klan conducted at least one flier drop in Virginia, and the Goyim Defense League dropped fliers in Vermont, Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Washington. In Florida, the group also held an antisemitic rally in front of a Chabad in Orlando, as well as a second demonstration alongside National Socialist Florida in Daytona Beach. In New York, Nationalist Social Movement members gathered outside the musical Parade to demonstrate against the play, as they claim Parade’s protagonist, a Jewish man who was murdered by a lynch mob in 1915, was a pedophile. White Lives Matter affiliates also held white nationalist demonstrations on multiple occasions in Portland, Maine. In Florida, one of Atomwaffen Division’s founders was arrested for conspiring to destroy substations around Baltimore, Maryland. Similarly, a member of the Boogaloo Boys was arrested in Missouri for breaking a law that prohibits firearm possession for individuals with felony convictions.