Lara Putnam, Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman over at the Monkey Cage:
Across the country, people are protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and demanding action against police violence and systemic racism. National media focuses on the big demonstrations and protest policing in major cities, but they have not picked up on a different phenomenon that may have major long-term consequences for politics. Protests over racism and #BlackLivesMatter are spreading across the country — including in small towns with deeply conservative politics.
The scale of the protests is unprecedented
Two of us, Chenoweth and Pressman, have been gathering data on protests across the country, while the other, Putnam, studies political mobilization in Pennsylvania.
Our preliminary data shows that far more places have held protests already than held Women’s Marches in January 2017. That March occurred in 650 locations — and then had more participants than any other single-day demonstration in U.S. history. This time, few people had time for advance planning, amid a pandemic that has kept many Americans out of public spaces. And so the breadth of the protests is significant.