- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

There are conflicting claims about how many people actually attended the recent “March for Our Lives” anti-gun violence rally in the nation’s capital. Some researchers claimed 200,000 people showed up while the organizers said the number topped 850,000.

Now comes news about the makeup of that crowd. An academic source suggests the event was not a “student” march at all.

University of Maryland sociology professor Dana R. Fisher and a six-person research team attended the rally, seeking to determine the demographics of the crowd. The research is part of an ongoing “Protest Project” study which analyses the motivations, age range and other particulars of people who participate in large-scale protest events.

“Based on our sample of 256 participants that was collected from throughout the crowd there are some very notable findings: Although the March was called by the Parkland students, most of the crowd was adults (only 9.7 percent of the crowd was under 18) and the average age of the adults participating was higher than at any other event that I have studied since the resistance began after Donald Trump’s inauguration,” Ms. Fisher reported in a brief Monday.

“The march turned out a lot of new people to protest: 27 percent of march participants were completely new to protest. The march turned out a lot of political moderates: 16 percent identified as politically moderate,” the professor continued.

“Overall, these findings suggest that free music and young people helped expand the tent at this event. The question that remains is whether these people will stay involved in the issue of gun control and become active members of the resistance,” Ms. Fisher noted.

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