Anti-Lockdown Activity: United States Country Profile   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "For the US, 2020-21 was one of the most politically charged and socially divisive periods in the country's recent memory. Numerous issues like the response to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], the killing of George Floyd and subsequent racial justice protests, the pre- and post-election periods, and the vaccine rollout, have all served to further polarise the nation. The US faced significant division before 2020, yet the pandemic will likely be remembered as a period that served to accelerate polarisation across the nation. Restrictions introduced nationwide in March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19 fostered immediate backlash and gave rise to an anti-mask, anti-lockdown protest movement that provided an opportunity for extremists to campaign, mobilise offline, and potentially reach new sections of the public. Anti-lockdown protest groups in numerous states created what became an informal nationwide movement. Monitoring from ISD [Institute for Strategic Dialogue] picked up Telegram channels with tens of thousands of followers, mostly within the US, who urged people to take up arms to protest the lockdowns and protect their civil liberties, while COVID-19 was used to advance calls for the 'boogaloo', an extremist anti-government meme referring to an impending civil war. From the outset, individuals within right-wing extremist groups framed COVID-19 as an opportunity to enact violence."

2021 Institute for Strategic Dialogue
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Institute for Strategic Dialogue: https://www.isdglobal.org/
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