In recent weeks, a wave of Black Lives Matter protests swept across America with people hitting the streets in huge numbers to call for an end to systematic racism and radical police reform. Just who were the protestors? A new Pew Research Center survey of 9,654 adults found that 6% of respondents attended a protest or rally focusing on issues related to race or racial equality in the past month, a sizeable share given that the U.S. is in the midst of a deadly pandemic. The vast majority of attendees were generally young and leaning towards the Democratic Party.
Out of the 615 adults who attended a protest in the past month, 46% were White, 22% were Hispanic, 17% were Black and 8% were Asian. According to Pew Research, protest attendees tended to be nonwhite given the overall number of adults polled – 64% of total respondents were White, 15% were Hispanic, 11% were Black and 5% were Asian. Around 4-in-10 of those who hit the streets were younger than 30 while older Americans were underrepresented at the protests.
Unsurprisingly, given that the vast majority of protests occurred in major U.S. cities, 83% of protest attendees were from urban or suburban areas while 17% were from rural parts of the country. When it comes to political affiliation, 79% of participants identified with or leaned towards the Democratic Party compared to just 17% who leaned towards or identified with the GOP. Pew also noted that there is not a significant difference in terms of gender among protestors while they also differ little from the general population in terms of income and educational attainment.