The Goerge Floyd ordeal that took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparked a massive protest movement against police misuse of force a few months ago, and ever since then, opponents of these demonstrations have dismissed the protests as ‘threatening’ and ‘viоlеnt’.
Although some protests, notably those that took place in Portland and Kenosha, did turn violent, it was because of the unidentified law enforcement agencies that seized people in the streets.
A report from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project found that all of the recent protests in the US have been ‘overwhelmingly peaceful’. What the media chooses to highlight is one story, but the reality is a very different one. The vast majority of protests have been entirely safe and peaceful, even child friendly.
Researchers at Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative found that more than 10,000 demonstrations and protests across the country that took place between May and August were peaceful. In fact, 95 percent of all the protests was extremely peaceful.
Furthermore, the report shows that violent demonstrations in areas like Portland were confined to specific blocks, rather than throughout the city. Also, most of them have been isolated incidents, rather than massive conflicts between a large group of people and the police.
There have been peaceful protests reported in over 2,400 distinct locations across the US, and only 220 of them have involved some kind of violence.
When it comes to what the public thinks, however, things tend to differ. According to the report, 42 percent of responders believe that most protesters of the Black Lives Matter movement are trying to destroy property or incite some kind of violence. The researchers from the University of Washington blame political orientation and biased media framing for all of this, as well as disproportionate coverage of violent demonstrations.
Additionally, President Trump and his administration have done nothing to deny the notion that these protests are violent, which means that they’re a part of the disinformation campaign.
The report concludes that demonstrations that erupted en masse around the country were overwhelmingly peaceful, but two months until the election, the US still faces deep divisions over racial inequality, and the government does nothing to stop that.