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Young Protesters Say Voting Isn’t Enough. Will They Do It Anyway?

  • June 06, 2020

On that score, some academics say, the protests might help.

Daniel Q. Gillion, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, said that his research — detailed in a recent book, “The Loud Minority,” about the importance of demonstrations since the 1960s — showed that areas with meaningful protest activity often saw increased turnout in subsequent elections.

Whether younger Americans find a candidate to believe in is another matter. Jason Culler, 38, who also attended the march in Philadelphia, predicted that the current election cycle would not produce leaders who adequately reflected the crowds filling the streets.

“Not this election, not the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party,” he said. “These people don’t represent us, that’s why we’re out here still fighting the same thing.”

If nothing else, such persistence has proved a point, especially for certain participants.

Ms. Eastmond, the Parkland survivor, recalled the skepticism two years ago that she and other teens stirred to action by the shooting would remain as engaged in political activism as the months passed.

She does not hear those doubts so much anymore.

“People were questioning: ‘A lot of the people in that movement, where are they now?’” she said. “I’m here. I’m just one person, but I’m here.”

Jon Hurdle contributed reporting from Philadelphia, and Isabella Grullón Paz from New York.

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