Over 93% of BLM demonstrations are non-violent (2 Viewers)

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So, rather than burying this subject in an already broad thread I felt this topic, and the study it is based on, deserved its own thread. A debate about whether the protests have been mostly violent or not has been had multiple times in multiple threads so when I saw this analysis it piqued my interest.

A few key points: It characterizes the BLM movement as "an overwhelmingly peaceful movement." Most of the violent demonstrations were surrounding Confederate monuments. To this mostly non-violent movement, the government has responded violently, and disproportionately so, to BLM than other demonstrations, including a militarized federal response. The media has, also, been targeted by this violent government response. There is a high rate of non-state actor involvement in BLM demonstrations. Lastly, there is a rising number of counter-protest that turn violent. I shouldn't say lastly because there is, also, a lot of data relating to Covid too.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) begin tracking BLM demonstrations since this summer, the week of George Floyd's killing. I am linking the entire study for all to read. I am highlighting excerpts I personally found interesting.


The vast majority of demonstration events associated with the BLM movement are non-violent (see map below). In more than 93% of all demonstrations connected to the movement, demonstrators have not engaged in violence or destructive activity. Peaceful protests are reported in over 2,400 distinct locations around the country. Violent demonstrations, meanwhile, have been limited to fewer than 220 locations — under 10% of the areas that experienced peaceful protests. In many urban areas like Portland, Oregon, for example, which has seen sustained unrest since Floyd’s killing, violent demonstrations are largely confined to specific blocks, rather than dispersed throughout the city (CNN, 1 September 2020).

Yet, despite data indicating that demonstrations associated with the BLM movement are overwhelmingly peaceful, one recent poll suggested that 42% of respondents believe “most protesters [associated with the BLM movement] are trying to incite violence or destroy property” (FiveThirtyEight, 5 June 2020). This is in line with the Civiqs tracking poll which finds that “net approval for the Black Lives Matter movement peaked back on June 3 [the week following the killing of George Floyd when riots first began to be reported] and has fallen sharply since” (USA Today, 31 August 2020; Civiqs, 29 August 2020).

Research from the University of Washington indicates that this disparity stems from political orientation and biased media framing (Washington Post, 24 August 2020), such as disproportionate coverage of violent demonstrations (Business Insider, 11 June 2020; Poynter, 25 June 2020). Groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have documented organized disinformation campaigns aimed at spreading a “deliberate mischaracterization of groups or movements [involved in the protests], such as portraying activists who support Black Lives Matter as violent extremists or claiming that antifa is a terrorist organization coordinated or manipulated by nebulous external forces” (ADL, 2020). These disinformation campaigns may be contributing to the decline in public support for the BLM movement after the initial increase following Floyd’s killing, especially amongst the white population (USA Today, 31 August 2020; Civiqs, 30 August 2020a, 30 August 2020b). This waning support also comes as the Trump administration recently shifted its “law and order” messaging to target local Democratic Party politicians from urban areas, particularly on the campaign trail (NPR, 27 August 2020).

Despite the fact that demonstrations associated with the BLM movement have been overwhelmingly peaceful, more than 9% — or nearly one in 10 — have been met with government intervention, compared to 3% of all other demonstrations. This also marks a general increase in intervention rates relative to this time last year. In July 2019, authorities intervened in under 2% of all demonstrations — fewer than 30 events — relative to July 2020, when they intervened in 9% of all demonstrations — or over 170 events.

Authorities have used force — such as firing less-lethal weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray or beating demonstrators with batons — in over 54% of the demonstrations in which they have engaged. This too is a significant increase relative to one year ago. In July 2019, government personnel used force in just three documented demonstrations, compared to July 2020, when they used force against demonstrators in at least 65 events. Over 5% of all events linked to the BLM movement have been met with force by authorities, compared to under 1% of all other demonstrations.

Non-state groups are becoming more active and assertive. Since May, ACLED records over 100 events in which non-state actors engaged in demonstrations (including counter-demonstrations) — the vast majority of which were in response to demonstrations associated with the BLM movement. These non-state actors include groups and militias from both the left and right side of the political spectrum, such as Antifa, the Not forking Around Coalition, the New Mexico Civil Guard, the Patriot Front, the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois, and the Ku Klux Klan, among others (see map below).3

Between 24 May and 22 August, over 360 counter-protests were recorded around the country, accounting for nearly 5% of all demonstrations. Of these, 43 — nearly 12% — turned violent, with clashes between pro-police demonstrators and demonstrators associated with the BLM movement, for example. In July alone, ACLED records over 160 counter-protests, or more than 8% of all demonstrations. Of these, 18 turned violent. This is a significant increase relative to July 2019, when only 17 counter-protests were reported around the country, or approximately 1% of all demonstrations, and only one of these allegedly turned violent.
 

samiam5211

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I am not familiar with Ron Johnson's history of racist remarks so can't put these comments into that context. But he is a tool, no question. He has made numerous pronouncements over the years on a variety of topics that are ignorant, simplistic, and totally unworthy of a Senator (let alone a compassionate, reasoning human being). Saying that COVID deaths were a "necessary sacrifice" to keep the economy going is one disgusting example.

That said, I agree with Farb on this one. BLM protests were extremely mixed race, or predominantly white depending on the locale. There may be a racist undertone with this but to infer that he was envisioning a rabid mob of non-whites is a big stretch.

Given Johnson's ridiculous comments earlier regarding the "peaceful, law abiding" nature of the Capitol rioters, I took away from this that he would have felt (slightly - his words) threatened by equally agitated rioters on the other side of the political spectrum. That is a stupid thing to say, not to mention it is disingenuous to imply that somehow BLM/ANTIFA protestors are more prone to violence than right wing extremists. But like I said, he's an ignorant douche.
I feel that even though it may be a stretch to claim Johnson was referring specifically to non-white protesters that he would have feared, it is clear that he wasn’t afraid because the Jan 6 group was on his side.

His comment is telling not because it exposes who he is against, but who he was for.

He may or may not be a racist, but he is among those who wish Trump had been able to steal the election.

Ron Johnson is an actual enemy of the state.
 

Yggdrasill

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I feel that even though it may be a stretch to claim Johnson was referring specifically to non-white protesters that he would have feared, it is clear that he wasn’t afraid because the Jan 6 group was on his side.

His comment is telling not because it exposes who he is against, but who he was for.

He may or may not be a racist, but he is among those who wish Trump had been able to steal the election.

Ron Johnson is an actual enemy of the state.
Completely agree.
 

Saint by the Bay

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I don’t know what Ron Johnson meant, nor do I care. His constituents don’t care so me caring is a waste of my time.

However, considering It wasn’t a race driven comment because most BLM protests were mixed race requires assuming he knows most BLM protests are mixed race. The current crop of Republicans aren’t faking it, they really are as misinformed as the average person stuck in the right wing alternative reality information sphere. I’m not assuming he actually knows the racial makeup of the average BLM protests. In fact, I seriously doubt he does. I mean, it has black in the name, amiright?
 

Yggdrasill

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I don’t know what Ron Johnson meant, nor do I care. His constituents don’t care so me caring is a waste of my time.

However, considering It wasn’t a race driven comment because most BLM protests were mixed race requires assuming he knows most BLM protests are mixed race. The current crop of Republicans aren’t faking it, they really are as misinformed as the average person stuck in the right wing alternative reality information sphere. I’m not assuming he actually knows the racial makeup of the average BLM protests. In fact, I seriously doubt he does. I mean, it has black in the name, amiright?
Like I said, he's an ignorant tool.
 

V Chip

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I’m not assuming he actually knows the racial makeup of the average BLM protests. In fact, I seriously doubt he does. I mean, it has black in the name, amiright?
I am 100% certain he meant the “Black” part. He knew exactly what he was saying (he even prefaced it with “Joe, this could get me in trouble”) and he said it as a dog-whistle comment for his followers.
 

V Chip

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I think the BLM mobs are fairly mixed race. I don't plan to get into the capital thing because it turns out that no one really knows for sure if a police officer was killed by the actions of the crowd. We do know the police did shoot a kill a protester though.

I couldn't read the article provided on the tweet since it is behind a paywall. Here is an article I found that quotes him.

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate...feel-unsafe-during-riot-but-would-have-if-blm

The Rep senator didn't say anything about race or black Americans. As a matter of fact, he said BLM and Antifa:

"Had the tables been turned, Joe, this could mean trouble. Had the tables been turned and [former] President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned," he added.

Is he wrong? Does that come off as racist? I don't think so. I also think that quote on the tweet was purposely misleading.
It’s funny how either The Hill or you changed his remarks — the current version of the story has the quote more correct (but still technically wrong) quoting him as saying “Joe, this is going to get me in trouble” and not “Joe, this could mean trouble” as if the tables been turned and BLM protesters could mean trouble.

What he actually said was “Joe, this could get me in trouble.”

He knew exactly what he was saying and what he meant.
 

Yggdrasill

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I am 100% certain he meant the “Black” part. He knew exactly what he was saying (he even prefaced it with “Joe, this could get me in trouble”) and he said it as a dog-whistle comment for his followers.
I am curious about this. How are you so certain? I often get the impression that ultra-conservative dog whistles regarding BLM have more to do with calling out "extreme leftist, anarchist/antifa" violence as the militant arm of a Democratic Party "socialist agenda" than about race relations per se.
 

Yggdrasill

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So Farb, did you ever come to any conclusion regarding systemic/institutional racism in the U.S.? Did the conversation on this board provide any insight?
 

V Chip

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I am curious about this. How are you so certain? I often get the impression that ultra-conservative dog whistles regarding BLM have more to do with calling out "extreme leftist, anarchist/antifa" violence as the militant arm of a Democratic Party "socialist agenda" than about race relations per se.
I'm just certain. The right have been painting BLM as violent thugs since its inception and continue to do so despite 93% of BLM demonstrations being peaceful. He threw the "ANtifa" in as a cover, but he meant BLM. When right wingers did the inevitable whataboutism response to 1-6, it was all about "whatabout BLM protests" and lies like "entire cities burned to the ground at BLM protests!" and "BLM protests targeted and killed cops!" and now calling any protest with black people a "BLM Protest." They don't call BLM a terrorist organization like Hamas for nothing, it's all about winning their followers zeal and the desire to push the racist narrative of violent, angry blacks.

Right wingers see BLM as a violent marxist group (just ask them) despite the mountains of evidence opposing it, but they could use Antifa for that is they really wanted to. It's BLM for the dog-whistle reasoning.
 

Farb

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So Farb, did you ever come to any conclusion regarding systemic/institutional racism in the U.S.? Did the conversation on this board provide any insight?
I did. I think I have been pretty clear on my thoughts and yes, this board has been invaluable in forming those, so thank you.

Also, when someone can provide a link to an actual current law that is racist in this country, it would also be appreciated.
Until then, I will hold out on my conclusion that this nation and its citizens are VASTLY good, decent and moral people.
 

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