Worldwide Protests in 2020: A Year in Review
The year 2020 highlighted the resilience of protests around the globe. Despite the greatest public health challenge in over a century—and the viral threat, lockdowns, and increasingly repressive environment it triggered—protests remained an integral part of the global political landscape.
However, the rapid globalization of the coronavirus in February and March drastically reduced the number and size of protests. Some observers wondered if the global protest wave had met its match. But the lull did not hold: just a few weeks after lockdowns were widely imposed, protests began to reemerge. Data from Carnegie’s Global Protest Tracker show that already in April, the number of new protests rose to a high level: approximately one new significant anti-government protest every four days. As the chart shows, the rapid proliferation of new protests continued for the rest of the year.