When protests turn into rioting and wanton criminal violence, it’s going to turn a few people off. Americans have a very long history of protests – even boisterous protests. We love them. What we don’t love is people burning down our towns, accosting us in our cars and restaurants, and shooting cops.
Support for Black Lives Matter protests is falling across the country after months of unrest that has seen people killed, shops burned, and frequent clashes between activists and police.
A new poll shows that just 39 per cent of Americans now approve of the protests, down from 54 per cent in June, while 44 per cent of now disapprove of them.
University of Michigan political scientist Christian Davenport put the change down to ‘compassion fatigue’, as outrage over videos such as the one of George Floyd has faded, with people now wanting a return to their everyday lives.
The shift also appears to have been driven by perceptions of violence, with almost a third of Americans saying the protest are now ‘mostly or always violent’, up from 22 per cent three months ago.
Meanwhile the number of people who said the protests were ‘always peaceful’ fell from 27 per cent to 23 per cent, and the number who said they were ‘sometimes violent’ also fell, from 51 per cent to 47 per cent now.