PRINCETON, NJ –– Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) released a new report featuring the experiences of local elected leaders with threats and harassment. BDI’s report offers preliminary insights and reflections on the experiences of local officials experiencing threats and harassment, in their own words, through…
The Bridging Divides Team (BDI) team conducted interviews in Grand Traverse, Michigan, to better understand the local realities of political violence in the United States and highlight community responses. To understand what this looks like in practice, BDI structured our text around drivers of conflict and community mitigation strategies…
The Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) team conducted interviews in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, to better understand the local realities of political violence in the United States and highlight community responses. To understand what this looks like in practice, BDI structured our text around drivers of conflict and community mitigation…
New York, NY, October 19, 2022 ... Today, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and Princeton
University’s Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) launched a new data collection initiative that tracks threats
and harassment of local elected officials. This first-of-its-kind project is an ongoing study to
This Issue Brief examines emerging trends since the May 2nd Dobbs v. Jackson draft decision leaked, mainly focusing on offline mobilization. The brief contextualizes this activity within historical violence related to abortion and reproductive rights. It concludes with observations on potential activity moving forward into the 2022 election cycle.
This event has already taken place. You can find a recording of the event at this link.
Join BDI for a virtual conversation with…
A new map released by the Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) at Princeton University provides a dynamic visualization of the Truth Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) movement, a comprehensive strategy to effect transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
As the first anniversary of the January 6 attacks approaches, national attention has turned to conflicting commemorations of the day itself. A brief period of bipartisan calls for accountability in 2021 ultimately gave way to revisionism, and in some cases outright conspiracy theories, including from some Republican lawmakers looking to maintain favor with former President Trump.
One of the most concerning narratives includes framing arrested rioters as “political prisoners” by either denying documented actions or claiming cases are politically motivated. Few if any uses of the “political prisoner” narrative have been linked to wider calls to improve treatment for all prisoners or other criminal justice reform, suggesting attention on prison conditions is being used primarily to amplify divisive narratives and fear — rather than as an opening to engage on a topic with potential to promote bipartisan cooperation. Though currently limited in total number, the migration of these narratives from online discussion to offline demonstrations and activity merit specific attention.
The Bridging Divides Initiative convened a small group of key stakeholders for a short AAR, scheduled for January 7, 2021 and rescheduled for February 3, 20201. Discussion is shared here in aggregate with approval of the group, but does not represent a specific consensus. Rather, summaries below represent a snapshot of early reflections and highlights areas where the groups largely agreed/disagreed, in the hope that all can learn and build on details here in the true spirit of an after-action review.
Resources highlight concrete steps for volunteers, elected leaders, and law enforcement working to protect space for civic discourse
Princeton, NJ -- A new collection of resource guides offers elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and members of the public concrete strategies to prepare for potentially contentious public school board meetings and to recognize and de-escalate conflicts.
This brief examines trends in 416 instances of armed actors and incidents involving guns at protests recorded by ACLED, where the armed actors were not reported to be affiliated with a named paramilitary or militia organization.
The majority of people arrested in connection with the Capitol attack were not affiliated with militia organizations. These groups continue to be a reality in the US protest environment. Moreover, the attack on January 6 was preceded by a year of multiple notable trends in these types of armed actors at protests. For example, over 94% of all recorded armed counter-protests were in opposition to BLM, defund the police, or anti-confederate monument protests.
The post-election to inauguration period—the 11 weeks from Wednesday November 4, 2020 to Wednesday January 20, 2021—is a unique period of the US electoral calendar. Data on political mobilization and violence from this period tell us something both about what we might expect in the post-election period of future elections, and also offer a first glimpse of what we might see in terms of more immediate political violence in post-Trump America.
The purpose of this document is to help state and local officials anticipate the risks they face and respond. These resources help local leaders take four actions to mitigate violence (1) analyze risk; (2) understand state-specific laws and options for enforcing them; (3) build stakeholder engagement for high risk events; and (4) communicate insights and guidance.
Demonstrations in the United States declined by over 20% last week relative to the week prior. ‘Stop the Steal’ rallies by Trump supporters continued to drop during the first week of the Biden administration.
Demonstrations across the United States continued at slightly lower levels last week compared to the week prior as the Office of the President transitioned from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Although the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned of potential violence during the transition of power, all demonstrations across state capitals and Washington, DC remained peaceful amid heightened security measures (CNN, 21 January 2021).
Following the storming of the United States Capitol building by Trump supporters on 6 January 2021, demonstrations remained at an elevated level last week compared to the average throughout December 2020. Demonstrations have averaged slightly under 300 events per week in January, in comparison to under 200 events per week last month.
While demonstrations in the United States continued on a downward trend through the end of 2020, they began to resurge in the first week of 2021. With President Donald Trump’s continued refusal to accept the election results (The Hill, 6 January 2021), ‘Stop the Steal’ rallies continued across the country, culminating in significant unrest in Washington, DC on 6 January 2021.
Following yesterday's events, the Bridging Divides Initiative echos both statements released by the National Task Force on Election Crisis:
● At least 360 demonstrations at homes occurred persistently throughout the past 8 months (May - December 2020), with threatening behavior by various actors recorded at low levels since May.
● The period immediately post-Election Day has seen an increase in both the number of protests outside homes and recorded presence of armed and unlawful paramilitary actors. These actions are particularly if paired with online threats and/or spreads to targeting of local officials.
● For the full period of data, more demonstrations at homes have focused on city- and county-level officials’ private homes, involved repeat visits, and were used as a repeat tactic by specific groups.
Last week, demonstrations in the United States increased by over a quarter relative to the week prior. Demonstrations related to the coronavirus pandemic increased by more than 50%.
Last week, the overall number of demonstrations in the United States remained static relative to the week prior. Pandemic-related events again accounted for the highest number of demonstrations.
Last week in the United States, demonstrations decreased by half compared to the week prior. Demonstrations have declined overall in the weeks since the election.
In order to provide key partners with a snapshot of state and local dynamics ahead of the 2020 election, Princeton Bridging Divides initiative prepared a series of state-specific "In Brief" summaries.
Analysis draws on multiple public data sources, including the US Crisis Monitor, Mapping Police Violence project, ADL HEAT Map, SPLC Hate Map, and a variety of local news sources in order to present a state and county-level description of recent trends and actors of concern.
Princeton, NJ -- In analysis covering the week of Election 2020, drawing from multiple and news sources as well as broad observations from monitors, Princeton’s Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) finds a largely peaceful Election Day which suggests American systems and communities are more resilient than reported, despite real and continued stressors on the system.
Last week in the United States, the demonstration rate remained constant compared to the week prior. The largest number of demonstrations were related to the coronavirus pandemic, followed by those in support of President Donald Trump.
Last week, the overall number of demonstrations in the United States decreased by more than half compared to the previous week — during the general election — when more than 550 demonstration events were reported.
The overall number of demonstrations in the United States increased by 80% last week relative to the week prior. The majority of demonstrations were associated with the 2020 presidential election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, which was held on 3 November.
Last week in the United States, demonstration events decreased by 27% relative to the week prior. The highest number of demonstrations were related to the general election set for 3 November.
Last week in the United States, fewer demonstration events were reported compared to the week prior. Demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement continued, but slightly decreased in number.
Demonstration events in the United States increased last week compared to the week prior. The increase is largely attributable to nationwide demonstrations held as part of the Women’s March on 17 October in opposition to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.
This guide will help you access or request data on recent events in your community to use as a starting place or one component of:
- ‘Actor’ or ‘conflict’ analysis within your community, when paired with your own knowledge and local sources
- Pre-election planning around potential contention:
- Together with available guides with available guides from other organizations
- Together with your own local community discussions
- Connecting to active organizations in your community working on your issues of interest
Fewer demonstration events were reported in the United States last week compared to the week prior. Demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement continued, but decreased by nearly one-third relative to the previous week.
Demonstrations declined in the United States last week compared to the week prior. Demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement continued, but decreased by more than half relative to the previous week.
Last week in the United States, the number of demonstration events spiked by nearly 60% relative to the previous week. Following the Kentucky grand jury decision not to indict any Louisville police officers for directly killing Breonna Taylor, demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement increased threefold compared to the week prior.
Fewer demonstration events were reported in the United States last week compared to the week prior. The highest number of demonstration events were reported over issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, followed by demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Demonstrations in the United States increased overall compared to the week prior. However, demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement decreased nationwide.
The overall number of demonstration events decreased last week in the United States compared to the week prior, though the number of demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement increased following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Earlier in 2020, the Bridging Divides team conducted interviews in Dahlonega, Georgia with the goal of helping community members tell their own stories of resilience. Toward that goal, BDI outlined four broad observations of local community response to two events from 2017-2019 in an initial Case Study focusing on the community response in Dahlonega, Georgia.
The overall number of demonstrations decreased compared to the week prior. Demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement decreased nationwide. However, in New York, demonstrations increased following the release of body-camera footage depicting the detention of Daniel Prude, a Black man, by officers of the Rochester Police Department last March, which ultimately resulted in his death.
The number of demonstration events spiked by more than 40% compared to the week prior. These demonstrations were primarily driven by the Trump administration’s handling of the United States Postal Service (USPS) ahead of the election. Demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement also increased following a number of officer-involved shootings in recent weeks.
Join us for a virtual event with Professor Eve L. Ewing around her work 1919 and the many through lines on to our current moment. Princeton Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor will serve as discussant and moderator for the reading, discussion, and dynamic Q&A.
Taking place virtually on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:30pm EDT