A university professor studying Trump-era protests found that the prevailing media narrative surrounding the “March for Our Lives” demonstration in Washington, D.C. provided an inaccurate picture of who attended the protest and why.
The survey, which included 256 respondents, found that 27 percent of attendees were first-time protestors and of that group, only 12 percent cited gun control as their primary motivation for attendance, verses 60 percent of more experienced protestors.
“My research tells a different story about who participated in the March for Our Lives — and it is more complicated and less well-packaged for prime time,” University of Maryland sociology professor Dana R. Fisher wrote in a Wednesday story for the Washington Post.
The majority of novice protestors (56 percent) listed “peace” as their primary motivation while 42 percent said they turned out primarily in opposition to President Donald Trump.
Fisher’s team further found that only about ten percent of protestors were under the age of 18, and the average age was 49.
Fisher, who plans to compile her research in a book entitled American Resistance, suggested the free concerts offered at the protest may have increased turnout.
“The March for Our Lives had the allure of a free concert — in fact, the event’s website maintained a list of performers but never listed the speakers,” she wrote. “But it is one thing to turn out to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ariana Grande perform, and quite another to vote in the midterm election in November.”
The coalition of political advocacy groups that organized the event claim it was the largest in Washington, D.C. history at 850,000 attendees; but an independent research group, Virginia-based Digital Design & Imaging Service Inc, found 202,796 people attended using aerial photos.