One of every five Americans has joined a protest or a political rally since the start of 2016, a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post found. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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Why America is ripe for protest this yearShe was the face of mass protest, but long ago lost her faith in protesting. The past year or two have seen a near-simultaneous explosion in activism around disparate causes.It germinated for years before sparks like Trump's election and the Parkland shooting set it off, said Christopher Schmidt, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law who has written about the civil rights activism of the 1960s and the rise of the tea party movement.The recent wave of protests mark the first time since the 1960s that so many Americans have ventured into the streets.The 1960s were a hopeful and expansive time for many young activists, despite the polarization and anger that grew as the decade wore on, Isserman said, but today's young protesters can't afford such idealism.Johanna Goldfarb was a medical student in 1970 when the killing of four student protesters at Kent State University by National Guardsmen spurred her to join a rally against America's war in Southeast Asia.
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