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Protest Expert Says Anti-Trump Resistance Is Not Slowing Down

President Donald Trump's election may have changed the way many average Americans participate in democracy

"Many Americans no longer feel like their concerns are being heard just by voting." (Photo: Ted Eytan/flickr/cc)

A scientist who studies protests said this week that the resistance to President Donald Trump is building momentum, not losing it, and the movement's continued existence could be a signal that Americans are changing how they participate in democracy.

Sociologist Dana Fisher told the Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday that she hadn't seen major protests in the nation's capital in the five years she'd lived in the area, but that demonstrations have now become an almost-weekly occurrence.

Few of her students at the University of Maryland used to participate in activism, but these days "everybody has to get out of class to go downtown because they're chaining themselves to something or they're marching," she told the Post's Sarah Kaplan.

Fisher found that there was a lot of crossover between events, with 70 percent of participants at the recent Peoples Climate March having also come out for the Women's March in January. She also found that reports of "resistance fatigue" have been exaggerated.

"What I think this is showing is that there are people who are getting involved and staying involved and coming out even if it's every weekend,” Fisher said. "There's only so many weekends in a row you want to march, but we have not hit that exhaustion yet."

The rise of mainstream activism could mean that average people are becoming more engaged with politics.

"Many Americans no longer feel like their concerns are being heard just by voting" every four years, she said.

"Are they really civically engaged, are they going to do something before the midterm election, or are they going to go back to watch TV?" Fisher posited. "The data we have collected so far suggest they are not going back to watching TV."

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