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Protest for a future II: Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 20-27 September, 2019, in 19 cities around the world.

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In September 2019, the third Global Climate Strike organized by the Fridays For Future (FFF) protest campaign mobilized 6000 protest events in 185 countries and brought 7.6 million participants out onto the streets. This report analyses survey data about participants from 19 cities around the world and compares it to data from an international survey conducted in 13 European cities in March 2019. Both surveys collected data following the well-established “Caught in the Act of Protest” survey methodology in order to generate representative samples. What makes FFF new and particularly interesting is the involvement of schoolchildren and students as initiators, organizers and participants in climate activism on a large scale. The September mobilizations differed from the March events in the explicit call for adults to join the movement. Although older age cohorts were more strongly represented in September, young people continued to make up a substantial portion of the protestors – almost one third of demonstrators were aged 19 or under. Additionally, there was a high proportion of female FFF protestors. In both surveys nearly 60% of participants identified as female – with the largest share among the youngest demonstrators. Overwhelming majorities of adult participants were well educated and had a university degree. Moreover, a large proportion of young people participating in the September strikes had parents who had studied at university level.
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... Drawing on a unique protest survey, with data collected by an international collaborative network of scholars (see Wahlström et al. 2019;de Moor et al. 2020), this article explores the generational dimension of the mobilisation of participants in the Fridays For Future (FFF) strikes, and the broader political involvement of young climate activists. Our protest survey data cover demonstrations in 23 different cities, across 15 European countries, and was carried out in two rounds of fieldwork, during the March 2019 and September 2019 FFF global strikes (N = 4699). ...
... The FFF mobilisations engaged high numbers of participants worldwide, transforming the regular Friday school strikes into a new wave of international protests, which were no longer tied to key events such as international summits. While there are a number of elements of continuity in the composition, action forms and motivations of climate activism (e.g. the predominance of protesters with a high level of formal education), according to the initial comparative studies on FFF, a number of novel characteristics stand out, such as the involvement of schoolchildren and students as initiators, organisers and participants in climate activism on a large scale de Moor et al. 2020;Sommer et al. 2019). Similarly, young activists have been found to be the core groups in territorial struggles, such as in the case of the No TAV movement in Northern Italy against the construction of the high-speed railway between Turin and Lyon (Piazza and Frazzetta 2018;della Porta and Piazza 2007), or in the occupation of the Hambach Forest in the North Rhine-Westphalia region against the destruction of the forest by an opencast coal mine (Ruser 2020, 812;Kaufer and Lein 2018, 4). ...
... The present study draws on original protest survey data, following a standardised method of sampling respondents in moving crowds, which is well-established within the field (van Aelst and Walgrave 2001;van Stekelenburg et al. 2012;Giugni and Grasso 2019). The questionnaires were designed by a team of social scientists from universities across Europe, who were also involved in gathering the data de Moor et al. 2020). Researchers surveyed the largest demonstration under the FFF banner taking place in each city in March 2019 and subsequently during the 'Global Week for Future' in September of the same year. ...
... The gender of protestors is, however, nuanced. While recent evidence in developing democracies in Africa show that women have less proclivities toward protests (Asingo, 2018), other studies in more established democracies of the West show the growing dominance of women in recent protests (Bowman, 2019;de Moor et al., 2020;Wahlstrom et al., 2019). The married on the other hand are argued to be less likely to engage in non-institutionalized political behaviors (Weiss, 2020, p. 4). ...
... Consistently across all four models, an individual's age, sex, marital status, educational background, political interest, employment status, postmaterialist values, and household income situation showed strong influence on their decisions to partake in demonstrations. Interestingly, females in this study showed less likelihood, compared to males to participate in peaceful protests, in contrast with recent findings which showed higher levels of participation in protests among females (Bowman, 2019;de Moor et al., 2020). Lower levels of satisfaction with life and household incomes also significantly associated with increased tendencies to protest across all four models (Kern et al., 2015). ...
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Conventional literature associates large youth cohort size (YCS) with increased risk of political violence in countries with such demographic profiles. Key questions which remain unanswered, however, are whether YCS is also associated with young people’s proclivities toward more peaceful forms of protests, and whether structural socioeconomic conditions influence such a relationship? Using multilevel binary logistic regression techniques on pooled individual level data for 51 democratic countries purposively sampled from World Values Survey Waves 3 to 6, and country level data from World Bank, and UN Population Division, I show that YCS demonstrates a positive relationship with young people’s participation in peaceful demonstrations. This relationship is, however, moderated by structural factors such as education and unemployment, which end up reducing young people’s likelihood of participation. I argue that resource limitation, as predicted by the Civic Voluntarism Model, better explains the relationship between YCS and individual youth protest behavior in democratic societies, more than socioeconomic grievance, as suggested by grievance theory. An important implication of this finding is that participation in elite-challenging behaviors such as peaceful protests, can be expected to be more common among young people in affluent democratic societies, than their peers elsewhere in the democratic world.
... Notably, in addition to perceived unfairness, there are other social psychological factors that drive people to protest [for an overview see Van Zomeren and Iyer (2009) and Van Stekelenburg and Klandermans (2013), for an integration see Van Zomeren et al. (2008, 2012]. For example, individuals' motivation to take climate action can be determined by their level of identification with climate groups (Fritsche et al., 2018;Haugestad et al., 2021), feelings of urgency and responsibility (Basta, 2020;De Moor et al., 2020) emotional experiences such as anger, fear, guilt, and hope (Kleres and Wettergren, 2017;Martiskainen et al., 2020), and instrumental reasons such as efficacy judgments (Roser-Renouf et al., 2014;Van Zomeren et al., 2019;Wahlström et al., 2019). Yet, in order to map out possible climate radicalization processes, a focus on perceptions of unfairness is particularly important, as perceived unfairness is not only a potential driver of climate protest, but may also drive individuals to break the law and engage in violent behavior. ...
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