Comparing activism in the United States versus activism in Europe is interesting because the cultural and historical differences become much more apparent. I admit that I may be missing some nuance from both sides of the conversation, it seems that activism in the United States is defined by demographic difference, while activism in Europe is defined by socio-economic class solidarity. By demographic difference, I am mainly referring to racial and gender & sexuality differences. The United States has a deeply racist history, from slavery to Jim Crow and the current police brutality epidemic. Moreover, the powers that be in the United States have spent decades pretending that the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s ended racism in the country.
This dynamic creates a very interesting environment for the types of protests, rallies and riots that are seen in the United States. An important point is that with racial equality and LGBTQ+ activism, the participants are protesting against fellow citizens as much as they are protesting the government and corporations. The fight against Separate but Equal is an example of this, where the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that racial segregation did not ensure equality for black students and students of color. This led to pushback from white community, and was therefore a factor in the civil rights movement of the 60s. Moreover, the Stonewall Inn riots from around the same time showcase the importance of identity politics within American activist movements as the LGTBQ+ rioters protested against the unfair treatment of queer people in New York. This highlights another factor in American activism, which is the relatively violent force used by American police against protestors. The United States is very proud of its military force, which trickles down to the local city police forces as demonstrated by the gear worn by police during Black Lives Matter protests.