When People Protest: Understanding and explaining participation in global climate protests

In September 2019, the Global Climate Strike protest mobilised 7.6 million participants in 185 countries in support of climate action. As part of a large, international survey of the event conducted in 19 cities, Young and Resilient (alongside partners at other Australian universities), conducted surveys with young people and adults at the Sydney protest. The surveys aimed to understand participants’ demographics, their key motivations for attending the demonstration, including factors within the Australian context, and how they are mobilised.


The survey utilised the ‘Caught in the Act of Protest’ survey methodology in order to generate representative samples. The quantitative, qualitative and contextual data gathered through this project provides evidence of why the issue of climate action has mobilised so many young people and their expectations of how climate change can be addressed. Findings will contribute insights to the public and policy debate, as well as provide evidence of intergenerational politics that can support the organisations, networks and participants in climate protests to achieve their aims.


Associate Professor Philippa Collin

Dr Michelle Catanzaro

Dr Ingrid Matthews


September 2019 – April 2020

Research Outputs

Protest for a Future II (2020)

Academics of Young and Resilient Research Centre have joined with an international team of researchers to study the rolling Global Climate Strikes held, by collecting data at the protests held in September 2019. The results have been published in a report released early this year. The researchers examined survey data from 19 cities in 16 countries. Our team contributed analysing the protesters at the Domain in Sydney.

Read the full report here