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US police three times as likely to use force against leftwing protesters

A new report has found that the US police are three times more likely to use force when dealing with leftwing protests than they are when dealing with rightwing protests.

The research was carried out by the US Crisis Monitor, a nonprofit group that monitors global political violence. It is run by a team of researchers at Princeton University and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) project and looked at 13,000 protests that have taken place in the US since April 2020.

It found that US law enforcement agencies have used teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and beatings against 4.7 per cent of leftwing protests compared to just 1.4 per cent of rightwing protests.

This is despite the fact that protests from both sides are overwhelmingly peaceful. 96 per cent of rightwing demonstrations and 94 per cent of leftwing demonstrations went without violence in the last ten months.

“Police are not just engaging more because [leftwing protesters] are more violent. They’re engaging more even with peaceful protesters,” Dr Roudabeh Kishi, ACLED’s director of research and innovation, told the Guardian. “That’s the clear trend.”

For the purposes of the analysis, the ACLED classified ‘leftwing’ protests as those carried out by BLM, Abolish ICE and Antifa, among others. ‘Rightwing’ protests included pro-Trump rallies, ‘Blue Lives Matter’ and QAnon supporters, among others.