Nearly four in 10 Americans, 39%, say they have felt the urge to organize or join a public demonstration. This is statistically similar to the previous 36% reading in 2018 but much higher than the 10% who said the same in 1965. The reasons behind Americans' desire to protest today are markedly different than four years ago.
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision eliminating abortion as a constitutional right and returning abortion policy decisions to individual state governments, 31% of those who have expressed a desire to protest name the abortion issue as their greatest motivation to do so.
Beyond abortion, the issues now mentioned most as reasons to demonstrate are law enforcement or Black Lives Matter (22%), women's rights (19%), civil or equal rights (11%), and government or political issues (10%).
In 2018, no single issue dominated Americans' protest motivations, although the women's movement led with 17% amid the "Me too" movement, similar to the percentage this year, while 6% cited abortion. Immigration, another high-ranking issue four years ago during the Trump administration's controversial policy changes, is barely on protestors' radar this year. Gun control, which was tied with immigration in 2018, is currently mentioned by 8% of U.S. adults.