Majority of Black Lives Matter protests have been peaceful, research finds

7,750 demonstrations were surveyed for the new research

The majority of Black Lives Matter protests across the US have been peaceful, with more than 93% involving no serious physical harm to people or property damage.

That’s according to a new report from the Armed Confliction Location and Event Data project (Acled), a leading organisation in tracking political unrest across the globe.

But the report also found that the US government has taken a “heavy-handed approach” to the demonstrations, with authorities using force “more often than not”.

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According to the Acled data, a trend of violence of individual aggressors has also emerged, including dozens of car-ramming attacks on demonstrators, as The Guardian reports.

The organisation documented a staggering 7,750 demonstrations between late May and the end of August, as well as more than 1,000 protests related to Covid-19.

It revealed that government authorities were far more likely to intervene in BLM protests, often using teargas, rubber bullets and pepper spray to tackle protestors.

Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan participates in the Hollywood talent agencies march to support Black Lives Matter protests (Picture: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Specifically, they documented 392 incidents this summer in which government authorities have used force on Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

“There have been some violent demonstrations, and those tend to get a lot of media coverage,” Dr Roudabeh Kishi, Acled’s director of research & innovation, told the Guardian.

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“But if you were to look at all the demonstrations happening, it’s overwhelmingly peaceful.”

There was also 100 separate incidents of journalists facing violence from government forces while covering Black Lives Matter protests.

In one instance, a journalist was blinded after being hit in the eye with a rubber bullet while covering protests linked to George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.

The findings come after Run The Jewels’ Killer Mike told NME how the protests have left him feeling optimistic for the future.

“Instead of the audience just looking like me, because it’s a Black issue, it’s a combination of all people, races and ethnicities coming out,” he explained.

“I’m optimistic about the opportunity to organise, even though I’m not optimistic about government or world leaders. I’m not optimistic about times led by oligarchs, but I am totally optimistic because of what I’ve seen from people in the American streets and globally over the last 60 days.”

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