Anti-LGBTQ Protests Rise by 300%, ‘Strongly Linked to Violence

  • ACLED reported that right-wing extremists held at most 55 protests against LGBTQ people this year.
  • This is an increase of 340% from the 16 protests that were held in 2021.
  • ACLED, a monitoring organization, says far-right activity is strongly linked to violence.

Right-wing extremists have been appearing at various locations across the country with guns. libraries churchesto intimidate parents or children attending drag queen book hours. Proud Boys groups like these confound the reading of books by members the LGBTQ community with the predatory grooming of children. 

Death threats have been issued to hospitals that provide gender-affirming healthcare after they received them being targetedBy social media influencers, like Chaya Rachik, a former real estate agent, who runs the Twitter account “Libs of TikTok”, and is featured in prime-time diatribes of Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.

Gay pride parades have been another soft target for hard right. After a concerned citizen reported that they saw them loading up a UHaul with what appeared to be a “gay pride parade”, 31 members of the neo Nazi Patriot Front were arrested in Idaho.little army” of men in riot gear.

By the end of November, far-right activists took part in at least 55 public actions targeting members of the LGBT+ community — up from 16 the year before, an increase of some 340% — with a corresponding rise in violent attacks on people perceived to be gay or transgender, according to a report released this week by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED.

According to the group, open white nationalism remains the most prominent feature of far right protests and militia activity. It was established in 2020 by the group after years of reporting. political violence abroad. Of the roughly 750 far-right events that have taken place this year — on track to exceed the 780 held in 2021 — some 21% have been explicitly racist in nature, a finding that comes after the FBI issued a report warning that white supremacists continue to “pose the primary threat“Internal terrorism” accounts for more than half the politically motivated killings in the past decade.

While racism remains the primary driver of the far right,  anti-LGBTQ actions have “fueled the largest increase in far-right protest activity,” the report states, with the rise in such activity “strongly” correlating with a rise in violent attacks, of which there have been no fewer than 20, including the murder last month of five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. We don’t know what the motive is, but we do know that the suspect has a history. online and offline bigotry.

Roubadeh Kish, director of research at ACLED, stated that these deadly attacks are often carried on by self-declared vigilantes who aren’t formally members any far-right groups. Attacks are often carried out by those groups that are most active.

Kishi stated, “They have been inspired both by the rhetoric they may be seeing online and by the mobilization that might be happening offline.” “Those people then decide to take matters into their hands and engage in violence.”

It is nearly impossible to link any particular act of violence with hateful propaganda to which perpetrators were exposed. It is also difficult to identify the source of the current moral panic. Are extremist fringe members doubling down on antiLGBTQ activities because it is well-known as an issue for the mainstream right?

Kishi stated to Insider that “the reality is that there’s a bit of feedback loop here.” If a mainstream platform airs an attack on a minority group, then radicals will increase their activity around that sort of attack as a means of recruitment — while perhaps masking their other views, such as organizing under the guise of merely standing up for “free speech,” a strategy known as entryism (ACLED’s data shows that, despite such rhetorical appeals to the First Amendment, a far-right presence at a demonstration makes that protest “nearly five times more likely to turn violent or destructive”).

Over time, the issue of the day may change. It was pandemic restrictions in 2020, Black Lives Matter and false claims of voter fraud. “Critical Race Theory,” an anti-racism in Education issue, was the issue that brought mainstream conservatives together with right-wing extremists. In light of a generally disappointing 2022 election for candidates who dwelled on issues of sex and gender, the next year will likely bring something different — if not altogether new (think “political correctness” in the 1990s becoming “wokeness” in the 2020s). 

Rishi stated that “it usually ends up being an resurgence in some kind of old story, packaged in a different way.” 

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