Connect with us

The demographics of the #resistance



Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands of people have marched on Washington, D.C. – sometimes, repeatedly.

Two more big protests are scheduled for June: the March for Truth and the National Pride March.

The election of Trump has been a veritable shot in the arm to democracy in America. People are no longer bowling alone. They are marching and yelling together.

What’s more, we have done new research that suggests these large-scale events are part of a broader progressive movement.

A surge of social activism

The New York Times and others have referred to this surge in anti-Trump social activism as the “Resistance.”


At University of Maryland, we have worked with a team of student researchers during the first five months of Trump’s presidency, surveying protesters while they participated in these protests. Our team is made up of people with expertise on social movements, political mobilization, the places where race, gender and class intersect and racial and ethnic inequality.

Implementing a methodology Dana Fisher has used to study big protests since 2000, our team snakes through the crowds, surveying every fifth person who is willing to participate.

We randomly surveyed a total of 1,064 participants at the Women’s March, the March for Science and the People’s Climate March to learn who was participating and why. Although the protesters vary in many ways, our data show some important consistencies.


This finding is important because the literature on social movements typically assumes that marches that are focused on specific issues – like women’s rights or climate change – bring out different participants. Finding so many similarities across these populations of protesters suggests these discrete events are part of a bigger movement.

The Resistance draws new activists

A third of the participants at the Women’s March reported never participating in a protest before. Thirty percent were new at the March for Science, and 24 percent were new at the People’s Climate March.

Some have speculated about the long-term fate of this activism. Our data show these newcomers have become repeat protesters: 45 percent of the participants at the March for Science and 70 percent of participants of the People’s Climate March had also participated in the Women’s March. Thirty-four percent of the participants at the People’s Climate March had participated in the March for Science the previous weekend.


The Resistance is diverse

Respondents reported being motivated to participate by multiple pressing issues including women’s rights, the environment, reproductive rights, racial justice, immigration and LGBTQ issues. In fact, these issues were mentioned consistently by participants across the various marches, regardless of the main focus of the event.

Although respondents from our samples were predominately white and highly educated, the distribution of participants at the Women’s March and the People’s Climate March is pretty consistent with the racial and ethnic distribution of college-educated Americans. Nearly one-quarter of respondents reported being Asian, black, Latino or multiracial.

The Resistance is majority Democrat

Most participants in all three marches report having voted for Hillary Clinton for president. In fact, 90 percent of the participants at the Women’s March, 84 percent at the March for Science and 82 percent at the People’s Climate March did so.


What’s interesting is the percentage has gone down for each march, suggesting that the Resistance is increasingly drawing people from beyond the Democratic Party, specifically third-party voters and eligible voters who didn’t participate in the 2016 election.

Additionally, the majority of participants at all three events reported that the outcome of the 2016 election was important to their decision to march.

The Resistance is social media literate

Social media played an impressive role in mobilizing people to participate in the Women’s March, which started as a Facebook post by a white grandmother in Hawaii the day after the election.


Seventy percent of Women’s March participants said they heard of the march from Facebook and 40 percent said it was the most important channel through which they heard about it.

Facebook played a less dominant role in mobilizing participants for the March for Science (49 percent) and the People’s Climate March (31 percent), but it continued to be a main channel for information about the events.

The ConversationThe key question now is what happens next to all of these new activists. Will they remain engaged? Will this activism translate into a surge in voters in the midterm elections? How might organizations and political parties integrate these newcomers and keep them interested? Now matter what happens, we’ll be out there in the streets talking to the crowds.


Dana R. Fisher, Professor of Sociology and Director of Program for Society and the Environment, University of Maryland; Dawn Marie Dow, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, and Rashawn Ray, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
Continue Reading


NYT columnist says one of Trump’s friends begged him to talk him out of launching war with Iran



On Monday, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper, following President Donald Trump's attacks on him for calling his behavior racist in a recent article. The president accused him of "kissing [his] a**" in an Oval Office phone call.

Speaking to Cooper, Friedman denied Trump's characterization of their discussion.

"The president tweeted about a private conversation we had and lobbed in a few insults," said Friedman. "Basically, my response, which I put out on Twitter is that I was encouraged by a friend of his to speak to him after the downing of the American drone, because I thought it was wise that we not retaliate, and I thought he was wise not to retaliate, and this friend of his wanted me to encourage him in that, because he was evidently agonizing a little over that not retaliating. And I did that. I began the conversation by saying that 'I disagree with you, Mr. President on many things, but I think you did the right thing on this.' We talked for about four minutes. We also talked about China and we left it at that."

Continue Reading


Trump is a ‘human opioid’ who feeds racism to his ‘white identity cult’: author



Democrats will lose the 2020 campaign if they treat it like a typical election and instead need to make a moral issue against President Donald Trump, author Tim Wise explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Wise is the author of the 2004 book White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.

"As Democrats work on their strategy to counter President Trump ahead of the 2020 election. Anti-racism activist Tim Wise -- who helped to defeat David Duke in two campaigns in the 1990s -- provided this advice for Democrats," anchor Chris Matthews said.

He read excerpts of tweets from Wise.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump asked right-wing conspiracy theorist congressman to help him pick his next Director of National Intelligence



On Monday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is consulting with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about who he should consider to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Nunes has led the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee since 2015 and chaired the committee for four years, despite having no professional qualifications of any kind for that role. Since 2017, he has been known for his stunts and conspiracy theories intended to discredit the Russia investigation and throw suspicion on anyone who looks into Trump's conduct.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.