Patterns Across Protests Sparked by the Killing of George Floyd

It’s been a month since protests began after the killing of unarmed George Floyd in Minnesota.  Working with teams of researchers, I have collected data on three different days at the protests in Washington, DC:  during the District Die-In on 6/4, over the weekend on 6/6, and during Juneteenth on 6/19. There are some clear patterns that have emerged across these three waves of data collection regarding the politics of the crowd, their motivations, and demographics.  These findings are consistent with a recent profile of protest participants reported by Pew Research.

Politics. Participants continue to report very high levels of voting in the past year.  These rates are much higher than primary turnout in the region.  Even though there is some variation in political ideology (and the Juneteenth event turned out a number of participants who identify as Right-Leaning) EVERY SINGLE respondent reported that, if the election were held today, they would vote for Joe Biden.  Respondents also continue to report very low levels of satisfaction with Democracy in America and high levels of belief that some level of violence is justified in the pursuit of political goals. 

Motivations. There are consistent patterns of motivations for participants across these three waves of data collection.  The top motivations continue to be Racial Justice, Police Brutality, and Equality.  Participants all report very high levels of voting

Demographics. Across these different events, participants continue to be relatively young (with a median age of 30 or younger) and highly educated (more than 60% had a BA or higher).  Although Juneteenth turned out a higher percentage of Black participants, all events show White allies have joined the protests in solidarity.