Protesters Rely on Facebook to Organize Marches
Access to social networking sites allows anti-Trump groups and individuals to more easily rally and organize protests. Learn more now.
With the recent inauguration of Donald Trump and his hotly contested win in the 2016 presidential election, many protests and marches have broken out across the country. Because the protests have been so large and widespread, protest organizers have utilized social media to spread awareness and details to those around the globe who have been interested in participating.
For example, the Women’s March in January included separate marches in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and places as far as Tel Aviv. Millions of people participated in these marches, and it all began with one Facebook page.
It started with a woman named Teresa Shook, who created the event page on election night. Two experienced activists later took over the page, and began the planning process for the march. It allowed people to easily RSVP, volunteer, and post about other marches around the world while having the information all aggregated in one place. Thus, having all of this relevant information on one page allowed protesters to effectively organize and create women’s marches throughout the globe.
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In addition to large-scale protests like the women’s march, smaller, local groups are forming on Facebook, like Portland’s Resistant. These types of groups rally people together around common goals and opinions, which then often lead to protests and rallies. These group rallies and protests are largely peaceful, and organizers feel that it provides a way for people with the same outlook to get together and protect one another.
Because Facebook allows people to interact with one another and form groups and events, it creates a strong tie between users. This allows anti-Trump groups to rally and bond with one another over their fear and concerns for this presidency. It also allows anyone, no matter their age, race, or any other factor, to plan a protest and allow others to join.
This is not the first time social media has played a large role in protesting — not only in the US, but around the globe. For example, revolutions in the Middle East and in Northern Africa have utilized social networks like Facebook to help organize and communicate with their base. These platforms are low cost, easy to use, and can quickly reach millions of people, allowing grassroots groups or widespread supporters to stay connected, even without access to a large budget.