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States with the most protests

  • States with the most protests
    1/ Nathan Keirn // Wikimedia Commons

    States with the most protests

    Protesting is such a vital part of American culture that the Founding Fathers wrote it into the Constitution. The First Amendment guarantees the right to peacefully assemble right alongside the freedom of speech and of the press. In 2016, the reality of a President Donald Trump disappointed many people—while Trump won the electoral college, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote—and thousands of the unsatisfied populous exercised their right to protest after the election.

    One day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017, women’s rights supporters gathered for the largest one-day march in history. Since then, citizens have protested Trump’s policies including his travel ban aimed at mostly Muslim countries and his “zero-tolerance” policy that separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents. His recent proposal to redefine gender as the sex assigned at birth—effectively erasing the term transgender—has also sparked outrage.

    Using data from Count Love, a website that keeps track of protests and demonstrations throughout the country, Stacker ranked states by the number of protests since President Trump took office. Only public displays of protests—nothing considered part of regular business—were counted. People used their First Amendment right to protest mostly on issues relating to guns, civil rights, immigration, and executive power.

    Click through for a look back at major protests throughout history and a glimpse at demonstrations from the past few years.

    ALSO: States with the highest and lowest Trump approval ratings

  • #51. South Dakota
    2/ Salmir Luther // Wikicommons

    #51. South Dakota

    Number of protests: 37

    Total number of demonstrators: 9,199

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 10.6

    In September, a group gathered in Sioux Falls to protest President Trump during his first visit to the state since his election. Trump came to show his support for gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem.


  • #50. Rhode Island
    3/ Kenneth Zirkle // Wikicommons

    #50. Rhode Island

    Number of protests: 38

    Total number of demonstrators: 12,605

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 11.9

    Since the president’s inauguration, Rhode Island residents have gathered to denounce racism and sexism. Many showed their disapproval of the president’s executive order to separate thousands of children from their parents after families crossed into the United States from Mexico illegally. The "zero-tolerance” position sparked protests around the country.


  • #49. Mississippi
    4/ Watkinswd // Goodfreephotos

    #49. Mississippi

    Number of protests: 39

    Total number of demonstrators: 10,854

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 3.6

    Mississippi, the state of the Biloxi wade-ins, has a history of segregation and racial injustice. In 2017, President Trump faced protests and objections when he attended the dedication of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Rep. John Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., said he would not attend alongside the president because Trump’s "hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.” Mississippians also joined others in the U.S. to protest Trump’s child-separation policy.


  • #48. North Dakota
    5/ Public.Resource.Org // Flickr

    #48. North Dakota

    Number of protests: 39

    Total number of demonstrators: 6,138

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 8.1

    A lengthy protest began in 2016 at North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Reservation over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Activists and members of the tribe voiced their concern over the pipeline’s placement before the president took office, but protests continued after Trump signed an executive order to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.


  • #47. Delaware
    6/ Miles530 // Wikicommons

    #47. Delaware

    Number of protests: 41

    Total number of demonstrators: 5,043

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 5.3

    Earlier this year, Trump’s child-separation policy turned a few Delaware women into first-time protest organizers. The Dover protests were co-sponsored by the ACLU of Delaware, the Delaware Civil Rights Coalition, Equality Delaware, and Pacem in Terris, among other organizations.


  • #46. Wyoming
    7/ Postdlf // Wikicommons

    #46. Wyoming

    Number of protests: 47

    Total number of demonstrators: 7,577

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 12.9

    Wyoming residents haven’t just protested the president and his policies, they took aim at his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. When the couple visited Jackson Hole—a popular ski resort—protesters yelled "Ivanka’s Complicit!”


  • #45. Arkansas
    8/ Sgerbic // Wikicommons

    #45. Arkansas

    Number of protests: 48

    Total number of demonstrators: 13,815

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 4.6

    Arkansas is no stranger to political protests. In 1962, the sit-in movement helped desegregate lunch counters and businesses in Little Rock. In 1968, the National Guard was called in after protests erupted over the death Curtis Ingram, a black teenager who was killed during an altercation with a prison guard at the Pulaski County Penal Farm.


  • #44. Idaho
    9/ Elwood J Blues // Wikicommons

    #44. Idaho

    Number of protests: 66

    Total number of demonstrators: 29,866

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 17.7

    At the beginning of the year, the Trump administration stopped an oil and gas lease sale near Idaho’s Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge after protests from conservation groups. In October, Idaho letter carriers protested Trump’s plan to privatize the United States Postal Service.


  • #43. Alabama
    10/ Carol M Highsmith // Wikicommons

    #43. Alabama

    Number of protests: 75

    Total number of demonstrators: 18,923

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 3.9

    Alabamians have never shied away from civil disobedience and the right to assemble. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, inspiring the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr., led thousands on a march from Selma to Alabama’s capital of Montgomery to protest voting discrimination based on race.


  • #42. Louisiana
    11/ Jim Plylar // Wikicommons

    #42. Louisiana

    Number of protests: 78

    Total number of demonstrators: 21,634

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 4.6

    Louisiana residents faced arrest after protesting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in September. The arrests may test what some say are too harsh anti-protest laws that restrict freedom of speech.


  • #41. Kansas
    12/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    #41. Kansas

    Number of protests: 84

    Total number of demonstrators: 24,958

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 8.6

    In the 1960s, Kansas residents protested the Vietnam War. Earlier this year, the Kansas Poor People’s Campaign protested for weeks at the Kansas Statehouse. The group advocated for more funding for veterans and education.


  • #40. Nevada
    13/ ok-59 // Flickr

    #40. Nevada

    Number of protests: 90

    Total number of demonstrators: 70,242

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 23.9

    In March, thousands marched in Las Vegas seeking an end to gun violence. In September, a sociology professor shot himself on campus in an act of protest against President Trump, police say. He is facing felony charges.


  • #39. Alaska
    14/ Jay Galvin // Wikicommons

    #39. Alaska

    Number of protests: 91

    Total number of demonstrators: 19,921

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 26.9

    In 2018, Alaskans have protested President Trump’s child-separation policy and oil drilling in the Arctic. Many rallied outside the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, to block Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.


  • #38. New Hampshire
    15/ Cappi Thompson // Flickr

    #38. New Hampshire

    Number of protests: 92

    Total number of demonstrators: 24,293

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 18.2

    New Hampshire voted for Hillary Clinton, and citizens have showed disapproval of President Trump’s policies. In June, a rally in Concord protested the president’s family separation policy.


  • #37. Oklahoma
    16/ Caleb Long // Wikicommons

    #37. Oklahoma

    Number of protests: 101

    Total number of demonstrators: 51,226

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 13.1

    Oklahoma’s history is rife with protests. In 1958, a black teacher named Clara Luper supervised some of her black students during in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. During the 1960s and 1970s, college students protested the Vietnam War.


  • #36. Montana
    17/ Martin Kraft // Wikicommons

    #36. Montana

    Number of protests: 106

    Total number of demonstrators: 47,330

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 45.4

    Montana is considered a red state, but that doesn’t mean everyone likes the current president. Since Trump took office, protests have popped up in Billings, Missoula (a college town), and Great Falls.


  • #35. Nebraska
    18/ No Attribution Required // Pixabay

    #35. Nebraska

    Number of protests: 107

    Total number of demonstrators: 43,329

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 22.7

    In 1969, protests broke out over the death of Vivian Strong, a 14-year-old black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer. This is the last riot on record for the state whose residents continue to participate in political protests.


  • #34. Vermont
    19/ Jonathanking // Wikicommonns

    #34. Vermont

    Number of protests: 110

    Total number of demonstrators: 39,679

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 63.5

    In June, a 99-year-old woman organized a protest in Woodstock, Vermont, against the separation of immigrant children from their families along the U.S. border. In February, University of Vermont students protested racism to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.


  • #33. Utah
    20/ Raman Patel // Wikicommons

    #33. Utah

    Number of protests: 118

    Total number of demonstrators: 45,786

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 15

    When President Trump visited Utah in 2017, thousands of protestors faced off with Salt Lake City police officers equipped with shields and body armor. Environmentalists gathered objected to Trump’s decision to decrease the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National monuments by 2 million acres.  


  • #32. West Virginia
    21/ O Palsson // Flickr

    #32. West Virginia

    Number of protests: 119

    Total number of demonstrators: 15,421

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 8.4

    Protestors took to the trees to stand in the way of the Mountain Valley Pipeline earlier this year. Others protested the pipeline on land. Since Trump took office, protestors have marched for women’s rights and objected to Trump’s immigration policies.


  • #31. South Carolina
    22/ HaloMasterMind // Wikicommons

    #31. South Carolina

    Number of protests: 127

    Total number of demonstrators: 21,693

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 4.4

    After a white man shot and killed nine black parishioners in a church in Charleston in 2015, protestors demanded the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House. While it was permanently removed, the S.C. Secessionist Party is allowed to temporarily raise it every July 10.


  • #30. Maryland
    23/ Marylandstater // Wikicommons

    #30. Maryland

    Number of protests: 130

    Total number of demonstrators: 24,720

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 4.1

    Baltimore’s history is marred by racial injustice. In 2015, protests erupted for weeks after the Death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a fatal neck injury while in police custody. The justice system did not bring charges against any officers.


  • #29. New Mexico
    24/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #29. New Mexico

    Number of protests: 141

    Total number of demonstrators: 60,544

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 29.1

    New Mexico, the nation’s most Hispanic state, started protesting Trump before he took office. In 2016, Trump tweeted "The protesters in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag. The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!”


  • #28. Hawaii
    25/ Xpixupload // Wikicommons

    #28. Hawaii

    Number of protests: 148

    Total number of demonstrators: 30,521

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 21.4

    Hawaii has a history of protesting changes to the land it views as sacred. The Hawaii Supreme Court recently approved the building of a giant telescope on the Big Island’s Mauna Kea mountain, a development citizens protested for years.


  • #27. Maine
    26/ IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

    #27. Maine

    Number of protests: 158

    Total number of demonstrators: 50,988

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 38.3

    Before the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Maine residents protested his nomination outside of City Hall in Portland in an effort to convince Sen. Susan Collins to vote no on the Trump appointment. In October, people gathered to oppose Trump’s proposed transgender policy, which would redefine gender as what is listed on someone’s birth certificate.


  • #26. Iowa
    27/ Iqkotze // Wikicommons

    #26. Iowa

    Number of protests: 160

    Total number of demonstrators: 53,049

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 16.9

    After the shooting of four students at Kent State University in Ohio, anti-Vietnam War activists continued to gather in Iowa. One protest ended with a burned down building on the University of Iowa campus.


  • #25. Connecticut
    28/ IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

    #25. Connecticut

    Number of protests: 186

    Total number of demonstrators: 53,076

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 14.8

    The election of Donald Trump—and his subsequent policies—sparked political protests in Connecticut, including participation in the Women’s March and dissent against Trump’s travel ban. In 2018, people have marched for gun control and to support immigrant rights.


  • #24. Tennessee
    29/ Kaldari // wikicommons

    #24. Tennessee

    Number of protests: 192

    Total number of demonstrators: 114,619

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 17.2

    In 2017, supporters of White Lives Matter gathered in Tennessee. However, the white nationalists were outnumbered by twice as many counter-protestors during the rally in Murfreesboro.


  • #23. District of Columbia
    30/ No Attribution Required // Maxpixel

    #23. District of Columbia

    Number of protests: 197

    Total number of demonstrators: 1,183,872

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 1738

    It’s no surprise that Washington, D.C. is a hotbed for political activism. In 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom to hear Martin Luther King, Jr., utter the words: "I have a dream.” The Women’s March on Washington in 2017 was one of the largest protests in history.


  • #22. Arizona
    31/ Tony the Marine // Wikicommons

    #22. Arizona

    Number of protests: 198

    Total number of demonstrators: 177,636

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 25.6

    In 2011, a gunman shot Rep. Gabby Giffords, a Democrat, along with 17 others in Tucson. In 2017, thousands marched in Phoenix for stronger gun control and to show solidarity with victims of gun violence.


  • #21. Indiana
    32/ Diego Delso // Wikicommons

    #21. Indiana

    Number of protests: 200

    Total number of demonstrators: 36,125

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 5.4

    In August, activists demanded better living conditions at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana. In September, a group gathered for a Ku Klux Klan meeting in Madison, Indiana. Around 300 demonstrators protested the meeting.


  • #20. Kentucky
    33/ Seifler // Wikicommons

    #20. Kentucky

    Number of protests: 201

    Total number of demonstrators: 72,760

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 16.4

    Earlier this year, thousands of Kentucky teachers lobbied for education funding and objected to benefit cuts. In July, a small group of protestors launched personal and political attacks at insulted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both personally and politically as he left a restaurant when he left a restaurant in Louisville.


  • #19. Georgia
    34/ Autiger // Wikicommons

    #19. Georgia

    Number of protests: 204

    Total number of demonstrators: 133,546

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 13

    During the Civil Rights Movement, activists spoke out against racial inequality in Georgia. The state hasn’t slowed down their protesting efforts. In 2018 alone, anti-fascists rallied against Neo-Nazis, people marched against gun violence, and members of the NAACP objected to the carving—and asked for the removal—of three Confederate soldiers in Atlanta’s Stone Mountain.


  • #18. Wisconsin
    35/ Vijay Kumar Koulampet // Wikicommons

    #18. Wisconsin

    Number of protests: 229

    Total number of demonstrators: 151,309

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 26.2

    After Gov. Scott Walker passed a bill stripping collective-bargaining rights from 175,000 public sector workers in 2011, unions organized the largest protest in the state’s capital city since the Vietnam War. Around 100,000 people descended on Madison. Large demonstrations lasted for about a month and included people sleeping in the statehouse.


  • #17. Minnesota
    36/ McGhiever // Wikicommons

    #17. Minnesota

    Number of protests: 244

    Total number of demonstrators: 175,688

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 31.8

    In 2017, a group of President Trump supporters gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. The small group of white nationalists clashed with about 200 anti-fascist demonstrators. In 2018, Trump protesters—including elected members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party—gathered to voice their disapproval of the president and his policies outside of a Trump rally in Duluth.


  • #16. Missouri
    37/ K Trimble // Wikicommons

    #16. Missouri

    Number of protests: 266

    Total number of demonstrators: 83,375

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 13.7

    Missouri has a long history of civil rights protests, starting in 1819 with a demonstration against the state’s plan to enter the Union as a slave state. The Colored Clerks Circle later picketed businesses like Woolworth's that refused to hire black people. In 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer. Demonstrators took to the streets in St. Louis, but the tragedy launched a national discussion about race and a movement against police violence.


  • #15. Colorado
    38/ Onetwo1 // Wikicommons

    #15. Colorado

    Number of protests: 289

    Total number of demonstrators: 281,313

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 50.8

    Colorado has experienced tragic mass shootings at high schools and a movie theater. Many in the state joined the March For Our Lives demonstration in 2018 aimed at raising awareness against gun violence.


  • #14. Oregon
    39/ M.O. Stevens // Wikicommons

    #14. Oregon

    Number of protests: 291

    Total number of demonstrators: 195,302

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 47.7

    Some residents in Portland, Oregon, took the president’s victory hard. During the year after his election, they set fires, smashed windows, and protested everything from immigrant rights to racism. In 2018, a non-Trump related protest against police brutality ended in the hospitalization of three people.


  • #13. Virginia
    40/ Skip Plitt // Wikicommons

    #13. Virginia

    Number of protests: 297

    Total number of demonstrators: 50,555

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 6

    In 2017, a car drove into a crowd peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. The driver killed one person and injured dozens. Hundreds marched this year to mark the anniversary.


  • #12. New Jersey
    41/ Smallbones // Wikicommos

    #12. New Jersey

    Number of protests: 304

    Total number of demonstrators: 80,695

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 9

    In 1967, New Jersey joined the list of states experiencing protests that turned to race riots, mostly as a response to police violence on black citizens. During the Newark riots, 26 people were killed. Since Trump’s election, New Jersey citizens have protested the president’s immigration policies, with some gathering near his golf course.


  • #11. Illinois
    42/ Patrick Emerson // Flickr

    #11. Illinois

    Number of protests: 316

    Total number of demonstrators: 742,572

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 58

    Illinois, home to Chicago, has a long history of protests. In 1968, thousands of anti-war demonstrators gathered outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In 2012, protestors marched against the 2012 NATO rally. Although the marches started out peaceful, protestors violently clashed with police by the end. In 2016, so many anti-Trump protesters organized in Chicago that the future president cancelled his rally.


  • #10. Ohio
    43/ No Attribution Required // Pixabay

    #10. Ohio

    Number of protests: 316

    Total number of demonstrators: 108,815

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 9.4

    Ohio’s most famous protest ended in tragedy at Kent State University in 1970. A group of unarmed college students objected to the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. A confrontation with the Ohio National Guardsman ended in the shooting deaths of four students.


  • #9. North Carolina
    44/ Chanilim714 // Wikicommons

    #9. North Carolina

    Number of protests: 355

    Total number of demonstrators: 159,261

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 15.7

    In the 1960s, peaceful demonstrations in North Carolina sparked a national sit-in movement. In Greensboro, four black men refused to leave the segregated lunch counter at Woolworth. In 2016, residents protested the state’s "bathroom bill.” The policy, which banned individuals from using a bathroom different from their sex assigned at birth, has since been rescinded.


  • #8. Massachusetts
    45/ Fcb981 // Wikicommons

    #8. Massachusetts

    Number of protests: 362

    Total number of demonstrators: 376,674

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 55.3

    Home to the 1773 Boston Tea Party, Massachusetts residents remain politically active. In 2018, showed their support for immigrants, protested gun violence, and opposed the nomination of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. A report shows Massachusetts residents would even travel farther than most Americans for a protest.


  • #7. Washington
    46/ Cory Barnes // Flickr

    #7. Washington

    Number of protests: 364

    Total number of demonstrators: 280,182

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 38.4

    In 1999, the Seattle protests of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference opposed the globalization policies championed by the WTO. Police used pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets on the crowd, and some protesters threw sticks and water bottles back at law enforcement. By the end of the protests, Seattle buildings and businesses suffered millions of dollars of damage.


  • #6. Michigan
    47/ Andrew Martin // Wikicommons

    #6. Michigan

    Number of protests: 407

    Total number of demonstrators: 111,812

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 11.3

    Michigan is home to the Flint Sit-Down Strike, which ended with the recognition of the United Auto Workers union. In recent years, the Flint water crisis has sparked demonstrations among citizens seeking access to clean water.


  • #5. Texas
    48/ Ed Schipul // Flickr

    #5. Texas

    Number of protests: 494

    Total number of demonstrators: 527,008

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 18.9

    Since Texas is so close to Mexico, the state is often protesting about immigration issues. In June, protesters temporarily blocked a bus carrying immigrants outside a border patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, because of objections to Trump’s child-separation policy. Texans also demonstrated against oil drilling operations, with some people chaining themselves to equipment.


  • #4. Pennsylvania
    49/ Rina Pitucci // Flickr

    #4. Pennsylvania

    Number of protests: 525

    Total number of demonstrators: 262,103

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 20.5

    Pennsylvanians actively exercise their First Amendment right to protest. Steel workers went on strike in the early 1900s, and in the Civil Rights Movement sparked protests in the 1960s. In 2018, protesters spoke out about the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, and against anti-Semitic rhetoric that they believe led to a shooting that left 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.


  • #3. Florida
    50/ DXR // Wikicommons

    #3. Florida

    Number of protests: 586

    Total number of demonstrators: 242,911

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 11.8

    After a 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead, many students and supporters sought action from Congress on gun control. As a result, groups organized the National School Walkout, the March for Our Lives, and started the hashtag #NeverAgain.


  • #2. New York
    51/ Matt Wade // Wikicommons

    #2. New York

    Number of protests: 742

    Total number of demonstrators: 1,053,887

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 53.4

    New York has a rich history of political protests, especially New York City. In 1915, suffragettes marched for a woman’s right to vote. The gay rights movement catalyzed after the Stonewall Riots in 1969. In 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement began as a response to the financial crisis of 2008.


  • #1. California
    52/ Pete Bobb // Wikicommons

    #1. California

    Number of protests: 1,293

    Total number of demonstrators: 2,100,445

    Demonstrators per thousand residents: 53.5

    The state is home to the University of California, Berkeley, where the Free Speech Movement began in the 1960s. In 2017, an anti-Trump protest on the liberal-leaning campus turned violent after far-left activists attacked Trump supporters. After California went solidly for Hillary Clinton, many citizens of college campuses also voiced their dissent against President Trump.

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