Protesters hold up placards at a gathering in support of the Black Lives Matter
Getty Images / OLI SCARFF

Millions have mobilized in support of Black Lives Matter over the past months in protests that still continue to today. Data suggest that up to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations, making it the largest movement in the country’s history, the New York Times reports.

While precise turnout at protests is difficult to count, tallies by teams of crowd counters are revealing numbers on an extraordinary scale. A new poll by Civis Analytics suggests that about 15 million to 26 million people have joined recent anti-racism protests.

Collectively, the recent Black Lives Matter movement which was organized very organically appears to have far surpassed numbers of other major movements like the Women’s March of 2017. The civil rights marches in the 1960s were also considerably smaller in number.

There have been more than 4,700 demonstrations – or an average of 140 per day – across the country since the first protests began in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd in May, according to a Times analysis. Turnout has ranged from dozens to tens of thousands in about 2,500 small towns and large cities.

“It looks, for all the world, like these protests are achieving what very few do: setting in motion a period of significant, sustained, and widespread social, political change,” said Douglas McAdam, a professor at Stanford University. “We appear to be experiencing a social change tipping point — that is as rare in society as it is potentially consequential.”

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer