List of protests in the United States by size

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The right to assemble is recognized as a human right and protected in the First Amendment of the US Constitution under the clause, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."[1]

Widespread mass protest became a distinct characteristic of 20th and 21st century American civic engagement, with each of the top ten attended protests occurring since 1970 and four of the top five occurring since the advent of the Trump administration in 2017.

Methodology[edit]

In 1995, the National Park Service estimated 400,000 people attended the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., the official count for the event.[2] The organizers said more than a million people turned out, and they threatened to sue the Park Service unless it revised its estimate. Congress, in response, barred the agency from producing any more crowd estimates.[3]

Since then, official crowd estimates for organized political protests, demonstrations, and marches have relied on an amalgam of police data, organizer estimates, the research of crowd scientists, and journalists.[4]

List[edit]

  • Rows shaded in yellow indicates the protest happened in multiple cities simultaneously across the United States.
Rank Name Attendance City Territory Year Issue
1 George Floyd Protests/2020–2021 United States racial unrest 15,000,000 - 26,000,000[5] Nationwide  USA 2020 Black Lives Matter
2 Earth Day 20,000,000[6] Nationwide  USA 1970 Environmental Protection
3 2017 Women's March 3,300,000–5,600,000[7][8] Nationwide  USA 2017 Feminism
4 March for Our Lives 1,200,000-2,000,000[9][10][11][12] Nationwide  USA 2018 Gun control
5 2018 Women's March 1,500,000[13] Nationwide  USA 2018 Feminism
6 #RickyRenuncia ~1,100,000[14] San Juan  Puerto Rico 2019 Anti-corruption
7 Great American Boycott ~1,000,000[15] Nationwide  USA 2006 Immigrants rights
8 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation 800,000–1,000,000[16][17] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 1993 LGBT Rights
9 Anti-nuclear weapon march, part of the Nuclear Freeze campaign 700,000–1,000,000[18][19] New York City  New York 1982 Anti-nuclear
10 Million Man March 670,000–800,000[20] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 1995 Anti-racism
11 March for Women's Lives 500,000–1,000,000[21][22] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 2004 Feminism
12 Million Mom March 750,000[23] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 2000 Gun control
13 March for Science 400,000–1,000,000[24][25] Nationwide  USA 2017 Science
14 March for Life 400,000-650,000 (2013 estimate from rally organizers)[26][27] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 2013 Anti-abortion
15 Million Woman March 500,000[28] Philadelphia  Pennsylvania 1997 Black feminism
16 Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam 500,000[29] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 1969 Anti-Vietnam War
17 People's Climate March 311,000–400,000[30][31] New York City  New York 2014 Climate Change
18 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 250,000–300,000[32][33] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 1963 Civil rights
19 Solidarity Day march 250,000–260,000[34][35] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 1981 Labor rights
20 February 15 Iraq war protests 200,000–375,000[36][37] New York City  New York 2003 Anti-Iraq War
21 September 2019 climate strikes 315,000[38] New York City  New York 2019 Climate Change
22 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear 215,000[39] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 2010 Civil discourse
23 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights 200,000[40] Washington D.C.  District of Columbia 1987 LGBT Rights
24 2015 Armenian March for Justice 130,000+[41] Los Angeles  California 2015 Armenian Genocide recognition
25 Proposition 187 Protests 70,000[42] Los Angeles  California 1994 Immigrants rights
26 1999 Seattle WTO protests 40,000 Seattle  Washington 1999 Anti-globalization

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew M., Winston (October 2014). "Right to Peaceful Assembly: United States". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  2. ^ Michael, Janofsky (October 21, 1995). "Federal Parks Chief Calls 'Million Man' Count Low". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 5, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  3. ^ Craven McGinty, Jo. "The 400,000 Man March? A Brief History of Crowd Counting". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Sabrina, Stierwalt. "How Do You Estimate Crowd Size?". Scientific American. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  5. ^ Buchanan, Larry; Bui, Quoctrung; Patel, Jugal K. (July 3, 2020). "Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History". The New York Times (online ed.). Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  6. ^ "When Was the First Earth Day?". NOAA (online ed.). April 11, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  7. ^ Owen, Tess (January 23, 2017). "The Women's March turnout is at 3.2 million and counting". Vice News (online ed.). Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  8. ^ Waddell, Kavel (January 23, 2017). "The Exhausting Work of Tallying America's Largest Protest". The Atlantic (online ed.). Archived from the original on January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  9. ^ "More than 2 million joined March for Our Lives protests in 90 percent of U.S. voting districts". Newsweek. March 26, 2018. Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "The odds that a gun will kill the average American may surprise you". Business Insider. Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  11. ^ Shabad, Rebecca (March 24, 2018). "At March For Our Lives, survivors lead hundreds of thousands in call for change". NBC News. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "It's official: March for Our Lives was one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War - Vox". www.vox.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  13. ^ Berquist, Aileen (January 29, 2018). "MARCH ON Gears Up for March On the Polls 2018" (online ed.). March On. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  14. ^ https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/rights-protesters/after-power-protest-ousts-governor-puerto-rico-has-new-leader-now
  15. ^ Glaister, Dan; MacAskill, Ewen. "US counts cost of day without immigrants". The Guardian. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Smith, Nadine (April 25, 2013). "The 20th Anniversary of the LGBT March on Washington: How Far Have We Come?". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Schmalz, Jeffrey (April 26, 1993). "March For Gay Rights; Gay Marchers Throng Mall in Appeal for Right". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Jonathan, Schell (June 14, 2007). "The Spirit of June 12". The Nation (July 2, 2007 Issue). Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  19. ^ Paul L., Montgomery (June 13, 1982). "Throngs Fill Manhattan to Protest Nuclear Weapons". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  20. ^ Agrawal, Nina. "Before the Women's March on Washington there was the Million Woman March…and the Million Man March". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Gibson, Megan. "The March for Women's Lives". Time. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "March For Women's Lives: Up to a Million Descend on DC in One of the Largest Protests in U.S. History". Democracy Now. April 26, 2004. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  23. ^ Gibson, Megan (August 12, 2011). "The Million Mom March". Time. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  24. ^ The Crowd-Counting Consortium estimated 399,521 to 677,304 participants. Chenoweth, Erica; Perkoski, Evan; Pressman, Jeremy; Thurber, Ches (May 22, 2017). "New data shows a sharp increase in U.S. protest activity in April". Washington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  25. ^ https://medium.com/marchforscience-blog/the-science-behind-the-march-for-science-crowd-estimates-f337adf2d665
  26. ^ "'Life is winning': Pence fired up March for Life crowd". Fox News. January 27, 2017. Archived from the original on January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Tornquist, Cynthia (October 25, 1997). "Million Woman March fills Philadelphia streets". CNN. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  29. ^ History.com Staff. "Second moratorium against the war held". History.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  30. ^ Dastagir, Alia E. (September 21, 2014). "'Largest-ever' climate-change march rolls through NYC". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  31. ^ Visser, Nick (September 21, 2014). "Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March in New York City". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  32. ^ "King speaks to March on Washington". History.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  33. ^ "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom". National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  34. ^ Pianin, Eric; Brown, Warren (September 20, 1981). "250,000 March to Protest Reagan's Policies". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  35. ^ Merlino, Joseph P. (November 1, 1981). "A Retrospective Look at What 'Solidarity Day' Meant". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  36. ^ "Cities jammed in worldwide protest of war in Iraq". CNN. February 16, 2003. Archived from the original on May 8, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  37. ^ Tharoor, Ishaan. "Viewpoint: Why Was the Biggest Protest in World History Ignored?". Time. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  38. ^ "Biggest Climate Protest Ever".
  39. ^ Montopoli, Brian (October 30, 2010). "Jon Stewart Rally Attracts Estimated 215,000". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  40. ^ Williams, Lena (October 12, 1987). "200,000 March in Capital to Seek Gay Rights and Money for AIDS". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  41. ^ Mejia, Brittny (April 24, 2015). "Armenian genocide: Massive march ends at Turkish consulate in L.A." The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  42. ^ Arellano, Gustavo. "Prop. 187 forced a generation to put fear aside and fight. It transformed California, and me". LA Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 23, 2020.