List of protest marches on Washington, D.C.
The following is a list of protest marches on Washington, D.C..
Following a controversy over the Million Man March in 1995, the National Park Service stopped releasing crowd size estimates for rallies on the National Mall. Crowd estimates after that point have come from protest organizers, researchers or news outlets. Owing to different methodologies, estimates can vary greatly.
Most marches and rallies in Washington are one-time events. Two exceptions are the March for Life and Rolling Thunder, both held annually. The March for Life is a protest against abortion held on January 22 marking the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case legalizing abortion. The march has been held annually since 1974, typically drawing several hundred thousand demonstrators. Rolling Thunder is a motorcycle demonstration held since 1987 on Memorial Day to raise awareness of issues related to American Prisoner of War/Missing in action.
- 1894 - Spring, Fry's Army. Protest march by unemployed American workers.
- 1894 - March 25 to May 1, Coxey's Army. Protest march by unemployed American workers.
- 1913 - March 3, Woman Suffrage March. 5,000 march to support women's voting rights the day President-elect Woodrow Wilson arrived for his swearing in the next day.
- 1914 - April–May, Coxey's Army Second March.
- 1925 - August 8, Ku Klux Klan march. 50,000 Ku Klux Klan members march to show support for the KKK.
- 1932 - January, Cox's Army. A march of 25,000 unemployed Pennsylvanians to encourage Congress to start a public works program.
- 1932 - June 17, Bonus Army. March by 20,000 World War I veterans and their families seeking advance payment of bonuses from the Hoover administration; several killed.
- 1932 - December, Hunger March. Communist-led march of unemployed workers from across the country.
- 1943 - October 6, Rabbis' march. Protest for American and allied action to stop the destruction of European Jewry.
- See also: March for Life (annual; on or near January 22; since 1974) and Rolling Thunder (annual motorcycle demonstration on Memorial Day, since 1987)
|1957 May 17||Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom||First large demonstration of the African-American civil rights movement in Washington. Martin Luther King, Jr. demands "Give us the ballot!"|
|1963 August 28||March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom||Major civil rights march at which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 250,000 gathered for the event.|
|1965 November 27||March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam||Organized by the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE). An estimated 250,000 attended. SANE's political director Sanford Gottlieb was the march chairman. The National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the SDS, and Women Strike for Peace were also involved.|
|1966 May 16||Another march against the Vietnam War|
|1967 October 21||March on the Pentagon||The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam sponsored the march to protest the Vietnam War. Around 50,000 railed at the Lincoln Memorial in the morning for speeches and songs, although not all continued across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon. Organizers claimed 100,000 or more marches, but two intelligence agencies and an analysis of aerial reconnaissance photographs from a Navy Skywarrior plane estimated 35,000.|
|1968 January 15||Jeannette Rankin Brigade||A group of women's pro-peace organizations, including the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Women Strike for Peace, joined together as to confront Congress on its opening day, January 15, 1968, with a strong show of female opposition to the Vietnam War." At age 87, Jeannette Rankin led the march of some 5,000 women.|
|1968 - May 12 – June 19||Poor People's Campaign||SCLC campaign to push for a Federal $30 billion anti-poverty package. Several thousand demonstrators built and camped in Resurrection City, while they lobbied Congress for the program until heavy rain and mud ended the encampment.|
|1969 - October 15||Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam||Vietnam Moratorium. 200,000 demonstrate against the Vietnam War in D.C. and many more across the country.|
|1969 - November 15||National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam||Vietnam Moratorium, 600,000 gather and demonstrate against the war in Vietnam.|
|1970 - April 4||Victory March||A rally, organized by the Reverend Carl McIntire, the fundamentalist preacher and anticommunist radio commentator, calling for victory in the Vietnam War. Drew 50,000.|
|1970 - May 9||Kent State/Cambodian Incursion Protest||A week after the Kent State shootings, 100,000 demonstrators converged on Washington to protest the shootings and President Richard Nixon's incursion into Cambodia|
|1970 - July 4||Honor America Day||A rally put together by supporters of President Nixon|
|1970 - August 26||Women's Strike for Equality||Held nation-wide, it brought out around 20,000 female protestors in D.C. , New York City elsewhere to demand equal rights for women. The march helped expand the women's movement|
|1971 - April 19–23||Operation Dewey Canyon III||Sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and named after Operation Dewey Canyon, this anti-Vietnam War march included over 1,000 veterans camping on the National Mall and protests all over the city. John Kerry testifies in front of Senate.|
|1971 - April 24||Vietnam War Out Now rally||200,000 call for end to Vietnam War.|
|1971 - May 3||1971 May Day Protests||Mass action by Vietnam anti-war militants to shut down the federal government.|
|1972 - May 21||Emergency March on Washington||Organized by the National Peace Action Coalition and the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice to protest the U.S.’s increased bombing of North Vietnam and the mining of N.V. harbors. Demonstration draws between 8,000 to 15,000 protesters.|
|1972 - May 27||March to protest apartheid in South Africa||8,000-10,000 attendees.|
|1973 - January 20||Anti-war protest demonstration||Includes the Yippies-Zippie RAT float & SDS, "March Against Racism & the War" contingent.|
|1974 - January 22||March for Life||Pro-life demonstration held (annually) on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.|
|1974 - April 27||Impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon||Ten thousand participants.|
|1976 - May 6||Anti-Nuclear March||Drew 125,000 people opposed to nuclear power and weapons following the Three-Mile Island accident.|
|1977 - August 26||March for the Equal Rights Amendment.||Drew thousands of feminists, including original suffragettes.|
|1978 - July 9||March for the Equal Rights Amendment||Drew 100,000 feminist women and men.|
|1978 - July 11||Longest Walk||Thousands of Native Americans finish their 3200 miles long walk from San Francisco, rallying at the National Mall for religious freedom for traditional American Indians and against eleven drafts discussed at the Congress, and considered anti-Indian by native community.|
|1979 - February 5||Tractorcade||6000 family farmers drove their tractors to Washington D.C. to protest American farm policy.|
|October 14, 1979||National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights||First such march on Washington drew 75,000-125,000 gay men and lesbians to demand equal civil rights.|
|1979, November 9||Iran Hostage Crisis||A sign said "Deport all Iranians" and "Get the hell out of my country".|
|1981 - March 23||Draft Registration Protest||About 30,000 rally against the renewal of Draft Registration, signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.|
|1981 - September 19||Solidarity Day march||AFL-CIO organized march to protest Reagan Administration labor and domestic policies; 260,000 march.|
|1982 - November 27||Washington Anti-Klan Protest.|
|1983 - August||March on Washington commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" speech.|
|1986 - March 1 – November 15||The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament||From Los Angeles, California to Washington D.C. (a.k.a. The Great Peace March) to raise awareness of the growing danger of nuclear proliferation and to advocate for complete, verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons from the earth.|
|1986 - March 9||March For Women's Lives - Reproductive Rights Rally||National Organization for Women organized the 1986 'March For Women's Lives,' a massive pro-choice rally held in Washington D.C. on 9 March 1986.|
|1987 - May 25||Rolling Thunder Run to the Wall||Rolling Thunder is an annual motorcycle demonstration to bring awareness to issues related to American POW/MIA. It has evolved to be a more generic demonstration in support of soldiers and veterans.|
|1987 - October 11||Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights||The second such march on Washington drew 500,000 gay men and women to protest for equal civil rights and to demand government action in the fight against AIDS.|
|1987 - December 6||Freedom Sunday Rally on behalf of Soviet Jewry||In December 6, 1987, the American Jewish Committee organized the Freedom Sunday Rally on behalf of Soviet Jewry. 250,000 people attended the D.C. rally, which demanded that the Soviet government allow Jewish emigration from the USSR. [ American Jewish Committee ]|
|1989 - April||March for Women's Lives||Sponsored by the National Organization for Women. Attendance estimated at 500,000.|
|1991 - January 19 and 26||Dual Marches against the Gulf War||The National Campaign for Peace in the Middle East estimated 250,000 attended the march on the 26th, but the National Park Service estimated attendance at 75,000. The march on January 19 was estimated at 25,000.|
|1992 - April 5||March for Women's Lives||Pro-choice march organized by the National Organization for Women. The name would be reused for a similar 2004 event.|
|1992 - May 16||Save our Cities! Save our Children!||Estimates put the crowd at 150,000.|
|1993 - April 25||March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation||Organizers estimated 1,000,000 attended and the D.C. Police Department put the number between 800,000 and more than 1 million, but the National Park Service estimated attendance at 300,000.|
|1995 - October 16||Million Man March||A gathering and atonement of men from across the U.S. The United States Park Police officially estimated the crowd size at 400,000 while a Boston University study put the number at 837,000.|
|1996 - October 12||Immigrant Rights March||First national march in D.C. for equal rights for immigrants.|
|1997 - October 4||Promise Keepers||Event titled Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men, an open-air gathering at the National Mall.|
- See also: March for Life (annual; on or near January 22) and Rolling Thunder (annual motorcycle demonstration on Memorial Day)
- 2000- April 16, Protests of the IMF/World Bank meeting. Supporting march for the A16 street blockades of an IMF/World Bank meeting.
- 2000 - April 30, Millennium March on Washington. Controversial LBGT political rally.
- 2000 - May 14, Million Mom March. March against gun violence.
- 2000 - August 26, Rev. Al Sharpton organized the "Redeem the Dream" march in Washington DC commemorating the 37th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
- 2000 - September 2, TheCall DC for God's move in this nation. 400,000 gathered.
- 2000 - September 26, Brides March Against Domestic Violence. Demonstration of several women in wedding dresses marching to raise domestic violence awareness.
- 2000 - October 16, Million Family March
- 2001 - January 20, Counter-Inaugural demonstrations against President George W. Bush
- 2001 - September 29, Anti-Capitalist Convergence. Originally an organized protest to counter planned World Bank and IMF meetings, many protesters backed out after the World Bank and IMF canceled their meetings in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The protest was turned into the first of several protests against the invasion of Afghanistan, the first major action of the post–September 11 anti-war movement.
- 2002 - August 17, Millions for Reparations March. This march, held on the National Mall, called for reparations for slavery in the United States. Various speakers talked about the state of racism in the U.S., and the need to redress the wrongs of the past.
- 2002 - October 26, Protests against the Iraq War. Attended by over 100,000 people.
- 2003 - January 18, Anti-war Demonstration. Between "10s of thousands" and 200,000 in attendance on the National Mall.
- 2004 - April 25, March for Women's Lives. A pro-choice march; between 500,000 and 1,100,000 attend.
- 2004 - October 17, Million Worker March.
- 2005 - January 20, Counter-inaugural protests. Demonstrations against George W. Bush's second inauguration.
- 2005 - September 24, Anti-War in Iraq protest.
- 2005 - October 15, Millions More Movement. March to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March.
- 2006 - March 6, ProjectMARCH. March for colon cancer screening for all adults
- 2007 - January 27, January 27, 2007 anti-war protest. Sponsored by United for Peace and Justice.
- 2007 - March 17, March 17, 2007 anti-war protest. March against the Iraq War sponsored by ANSWER Coalition.
- 2007 - June 10, June 10, 2007 anti-Israeli occupation protest. Rally and march against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories for peace and anti-violence.
- 2007 - September 15, September 15, 2007 anti-war protest. March against the Iraq War sponsored by ANSWER Coalition.
- 2007 - October 19 – 20, October Rebellion. Series of demonstrations protesting the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
- 2007 - Unnamed date, Unnamed date, Myanmar political protest. March against the strict, Burmese government. Consists of some Americans, Burmese people, and Asian-American Burmese people.
- 2008 - March 19, March 19, 2008 anti-war protest.
- 2008 - April 19, National Socialist Movement protest march. Against illegal immigration.
- 2008 - June 1, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Israel at sixty years celebration.
- 2008 - July 11, Hundreds of the Longest Walk 2 participants and supporters from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Poland, and many Native American nations finish their 8000 miles walk from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Walkers, gathered to "protect sacred sites", "defend human rights", and "clean Mother Earth" by the American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks and other native leaders, present their Manifesto for a Change to Rep. John Conyers at the Capitol Hill. Two days of pow-wow and concerts at the Mall follow.
- 2008 - July 12, Revolution March. Rally and march protesting numerous violations of the U.S. Constitution due to the Iraq Invasion, Federal Reserve, Internal Revenue Service, and policies of the Bush Administration. Over 10,000 people marched, participated in the rally, and enjoyed the musical guests. Keynote speaker: Ron Paul, Guest Speakers: Naomi Wolf, G. Edward Griffin, Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Chuck Baldwin and more.
- 2008 - July 19, Over 9000 Anonymous March. Protest at the Lincoln Memorial by Anonymous against the Church of Scientology.
- 2008 - November 15, Anti-Proposition 8. Protest against the passage of California Proposition 8.
- 2009 - January 10, ANSWER Coalition protest against Israeli bombing of civilians of Gaza.
- 2009 - March 19, Funk the War 7. Sponsored by the DC chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
- 2009 - March 21, March 21, 2009 anti-war protest. A march on the Pentagon and Crystal City, Virginia sponsored by ANSWER.
- 2009 - April 15, Tea Party protests. Against high taxes and big government in Lafayette Park.
- 2009 - April 25, IMF and World Bank protest march.
- 2009 - June 18 – 21, Protest against the disputed Iranian elections.
- 2009 - July 4, Tea Party protest. Opposing fiscal policies of Obama administration and Congress.
- 2009 September 12, Taxpayer March on Washington. Largest Tea Party rally on Washington protesting excess taxation and promoting fiscal responsibility.
- 2009 - October 11, National Equality March. Approximately 200,000 people demonstrated in support of equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
- See also: March for Life (annual; on or near January 22) and Rolling Thunder (annual motorcycle demonstration on Memorial Day)
- March 20 - March 20, 2010 anti-war protest. March on the White House against wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- March 21 - March for America. 200,000 people call for comprehensive immigration reform.
- August 28 - Restoring Honor Rally, cosponsored by Special Operations Warrior Foundation and promoted as a "celebration of America's heroes and heritage." The number of attendees is disputed. Event organizer Glenn Beck also held an event at the Kennedy Center called "Divine Destiny" focused more on faith and religion on 8/27.
- September 27 - Appalachia Rising, a march of 4,000 residents from across Appalachia, to the EPA and the White House, demanding an end to destructive Mountaintop Removal mining practices. About 113 people were arrested in front of the White House as part of a direct action protest, including Jim Hansen, known as the father of the global warming movement. A series of workshops and seminars were held by the event's organizers at Georgetown University the weekend directly prior to the march, discussing topics such as Green Jobs, Appalachian History, and political organizing.
- October 2 - One Nation Working Together March for Jobs, Peace and Justice. Rally at the Lincoln Memorial to press for immigration reform, financial reform.
- October 30 - Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear - Held by talk show hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to oppose radical political trends in American politics. A crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News by AirPhotosLive.com estimated 215,000 people attended, with a margin of error of plus or minus 10 percent. According to Brian Stelter of the New York Times, the National Park Service privately told Viacom there were "well over 200,000" people present.
- December 16 - Veterans for Peace rally in Lafayette Park and on the White House sidewalk. 131 people arrested for blocking the view of the White House per 36 CFR 7.96 (g)(5)(viii), the "ten yards" rule, upheld in 1984-5271 in the White House Vigil for the ERA v. Clark, as a time-place-manner exception to the First Amendment, to achieve a fundamental purpose of the Park Service specified in USC16 article 1.
- October 16 - The Right2Know March for Genetically Engineered Foods (GMO) to be labeled in the United States. The march left New York City on October 1 and arrived after marching 313 miles to the White House. More than 1000 people participated in the march.
- October 15 - Jobs and Justice march to protest poverty, homelessness and high unemployment.
- November 9–23 Occupy Wall Street protesters march from New York City to Washington DC, to demonstrate at a congressional committee meeting to decide whether to keep President Barack Obama's extension of tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush. Protesters say the cuts benefit only rich Americans.
- January 11 - Close Guantanamo - 271 people in jumpsuits marched from the White House to the Supreme Court, along with 750 others not in jumpsuits.
- February 20 - Veterans Support Ron Paul, March on the White House - Approximately 320 - 558 Veterans and active duty Veterans Marched, with a double duce truck vehicle carrying Disabled Veterans including, one of the last WW2, battle of the bulge Veterans, with another 1500 not formally in the march supporting behind the march. Upon arriving at the White House, the veterans and active military service members turned their backs to symbolically signify that they didn’t condone all these unconstitutional wars. There was an eight-minute hand salute for every active duty military member who had committed suicide under Obama (one second for each life taken: approximately 480). These numbers are higher than they have ever been, especially when you include veterans. There were also 21 minutes of silence observed for those fallen in battle (one second for each life lost: approximately 1,260). There was a rally for 2 hours before the march at the Washington Memorial and a 6 hour after party at the rock n roll hotel.
- July 28 - Stop the Frack Attack Rally - 5,000 people marched calling for an end of dangerous and dirty drilling using the process of fracking. The march led to the formation of the Stop the Frack Attack Network.
- November 3 - Million Puppet March - Approximately 1,500 people and puppets marched in support of continued funding for public broadcasting. The march was later recognized as the largest puppet march by RecordSetter.
- November 17 - Move:DC - Approximately 10,000 people marched around the White House to call for an end to the LRA in Central Africa, with the march concluding at the Washington Monument. The march and rally were organized by Invisible Children as a part of the Kony 2012 campaign.
- January 26 - March on Washington for Gun Control - After Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.
- February 17 - Forward on Climate - An estimated 40,000 people rallied on the Mall and marched to the White House demanding action on Climate Change from President Barack Obama and the US Government. Particular focus was put on stopping the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline.
- September 7 - NO War Against Syria - Over 500 people gathered to demand an end to the drive to war. Organized by the ANSWER Coalition, the protest was supported by a wide range of organizations including Code Pink, United National Anti-war Coalition and the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party.
- October 13 - "Million Vet March" - Thousands of protesters expressed their dissatisfaction over the closure of national memorials honoring the service of American veterans in combat administered by the National Park Service which have been officially closed due to the United States federal government shutdown of 2013. Protesters removed barricades (or "Barrycades" as coined by the protesters) from the National World War II Memorial and brought them to the fence surrounding the White House. Senator Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin made appearances at this rally.
- December 13 - Justice for All - Thousands march to call attention to the recent deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of police.
- Markman, Joe (September 15, 2009). "Crowd estimates vary wildly for Capitol march". The Los Angeles Times.
- “Red ‘Hunger March’ Gets Gay Send-Off: Fed and Warmly Clothed, 600 in Trucks and Cars Start for Capital Demonstration.” New York Times: 3. 1 Dec. 1932. ProQuest Historical Newspapers Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
- William Conrad Gibbons, The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War: Executive and Legislative Roles and Relationships, Part IV: July 1965-January 1968. Princeton University Press, 1995, p. 95.
- Steve Vogel, The Pentagon, A History: The untold story of the wartime race to build the Pentagon--and to restore it sixty years later, Random House, 2008, chap. 18.
- Harriet Hyman Alonso, Peace as a Women's Issue: A history of the U.S. movement for world peace and women's rights. Syracuse University Press, 1993, p. 221.
- "Rankin, Jeanette." Helen Rappaport, Encyclopedia of women social reformers, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO, 2001, p. 571.
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- "10,000 Protest on South Africa". New York Times. 1972-05-28. Retrieved 2010-08-31.[dead link]
- WRL News, July-August 1979, War Resisters League, New York, NY
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- http://www.bu.edu/remotesensing/research/completed/million-man-march/ BU Remote Sensing Million Man March page
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- `Rent-a-Mobs' Descend on D.C, Insight on the News, 2001
- Bush: Who's Protesting and Why, BBC News, January 20, 2001
- Inauguration Protests Largest Since Nixon in 1973, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 21, 2001
- "Anti-war demonstrators rally around the world". CNN. January 18, 2003.
- "Abortion activists on the march". BBC News. April 26, 2004.
- "Israel@60: A Capital Celebration to be Held on National Mall". Reuters. May 30, 2008.
- Page, Jordan (May 25, 2011). "Revolution March Blacked Out By Media". Huffington Post.
- Cloud, John (12 October 2009). "The Gay March: A New Generation of Protesters". Time. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- Douglas Rivlin. "200,000 March For Immigration Reform in Massive D.C. Rally | Immigration". AlterNet. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "Jon Stewart Rally Attracts Estimated 215,000." CBS News, October 30, 2010
- Danielle Wright (October 15, 2011). "No Justice, No Peace: Hundreds March on Washington to Protest Jobless Rate". BET.
- Susan Svrluga and Bill Turque (October 16, 2011). "D.C. marchers rally for jobs and justice". Washington Post.
- Spear, Stefanie (July 28, 2012). "5,000 People Unite in DC to Protest Fracking". EcoWatch.com.
- Collins, Eliza (January 26, 2013). "Thousands rally in Washington for gun control". USA Today. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
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- Barber, Lucy G. Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002. ISBN 0-520-22713-1