HKS Affiliated Authors

Academic Dean for Faculty Engagement
Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment

Summary

equalityAfter members of the Proud Boys provoked an altercation with families attending a story hour with a drag queen at a bookstore in Silver Springs, Maryland, Montgomery County Police will have officers on hand future events. Far from an isolated incident, far-right groups such as The Proud Boys have been increasingly targeting LGBTQ individuals across the country. According to data from the Crowd Counting Consortium, fewer than 1 perfect of Proud Boys protests before 2022 were related to drag shows or story hours; these numbers have been steadily climbing, reaching 25 percent since the start of 2022, and 36 percent since May of 2022.

The Crowd Counting Consortium collects publicly available data on political crowds reported in the United States, including marches, protests, strikes, demonstrations, riots, and other actions, and is co-directed by Erica Chenoweth (Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard Kennedy School) and Jeremy Pressman (Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Connecticut).

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