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Top Protest Marches in Washington DC

Updated on March 28, 2018
Mike Hardy profile image

Social liberal and fiscally conservative. An advocate for those with developmental disabilities and under represented at-risk communities.

The Largest and Most Notable Marches in Washington DC


March 2018s protest March For Our Lives aims to take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that lives and safety become a priority and end gun violence that led to an epidemic of mass school shootings in the United States. This is the latest protest over the past two years that is expected to draw a record tunout during this one day event.

Protest marches and rallies in Washington DC is a uniquely American phenomenon. Identified and protected in the US Constitution; “The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This freedom has resulted in gatherings at our nation’s capital that have been attended by millions of people. Here are the most notable and largest marches on Washington DC.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — August 28, 1963


This key civil rights march was attended by approximately 300,000 people. Its notable for Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I have a Dream" speech. The march is credited with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Anti-Vietnam War protest — November 15, 1969


This protest was held at the height of the Vietnam War. Approximately 600,000 demonstrated against the war. Considered the largest march in the history of the United States at that point

The Solidarity Day March — September 19, 1981


Attended by approximately 260,000 in 1981. This was a protesting President Ronald Reagan's decision to fire 12,000 air traffic controllers because of them striking to demand wage increases and safer working conditions.

It's considered the first major demonstration to have been organised since the 1930's by the AFL-CIO.

Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights — October 11, 1987


The “Great March" called upon the government to allocate budget and resources AIDS research and treatment, as well as an end to discrimination against LGBT people. The protest included the first public display of Cleve Jones’ Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. It was attended by approximately 200,000 people

March for Life Rally – January 22, 1990


Took place at the Washington Monument Grounds. Commemorated the 17th annual memorial rally of Roe v. Wade decision, on the ellipse. According to National Park Service estimates, over 700,000 people attend the rally.

The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation — April 25, 1993


This protest covered the National Mall with between 800,000 and a million people. The LBGT community called for advances in civil rights bills against discrimination, an increase in AIDS research funding, and reproductive rights.

Million Man March — October 16, 1995


This watershed 1995 event looks to have broken the 1 million attendee barrier. This rally was to unite the Black community. The march was organized by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan with speakers that included Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson. Estimates for those attending range from 400,000 to 1.1 million people.

The March for Women’s Lives in Washington DC — April 25, 2004


In 2004, the March for Women's Lives was considered the largest pro-choice protests in Washington DC. Between 500,000 and 1.1 million protesters converged on the city.

The Women’s March on Washington — January 21, 2017


1,500,000 women converged on Washington DC the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration. Keynote speakers included Scarlett Johansson and Gloria Steinem. The record-breaking crowds wore iconic pink cat hats. This is considered largest one-day protest in American history. An estimated 4.2 million came out in 600 US cities.


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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 4 weeks ago from Orange County California

      And how many millions of people didn't vote in 2016?

    • JAKE Earthshine profile image

      JAKE Earthshine 4 weeks ago from Milky-Way Galaxy ~ 4th Planet from the SUN

      The monumental 'March For Our Lives' on DC which is happening right now, is a major turning point event in American History. Students, young people and parents who have had more than enough of the unnecessary barbaric gun violence in schools and elsewhere will inevitably make a huge difference. These young adults are an unstoppable freight train of CHANGE in the form of gun banishment which is barreling down the track and if republicans aren't careful, that train will roll over them.

      Human life is indeed more valuable than a piece of cold steel used to take human life, that's the message and if backward thinking republican politicians don't like it, they can get out of the way or be removed from office in a continuous wave of righteousness.