Abortion, civil rights top issues Americans would risk arrest to protest: Poll

Americans named abortion and civil rights as the top issues over which they would be willing to risk being arrested while protesting, according to a new survey that comes as thousands have been arrested in pro-Palestinian college campus demonstrations.

The latest USA Today/Suffolk University poll found Americans were evenly split when asked if they would risk arrest for any political issue, 48 percent to 48 percent.

About 8.3 percent of respondents listed women’s rights and the right to an abortion when asked what political issue, if any, they would risk arrest for while protesting. Another 2.5 percent said they would risk arrest to protest against expanding abortion rights, according to the poll.

About 5.5 percent of respondents said issues of civil rights, Black Lives Matter and police brutality were worth risking arrest to protest over, and 3.7 percent said the same about the wars in Israel and Ukraine.

Some 2.5 percent said they would risk arrest to protest immigration matters, while 2.2 percent said the protests over defending democracy were worth risking arrest.

The poll also showed that about 67 percent of respondents are either very or somewhat concerned about the pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses leading to violence.

Only 18.6 percent of those polled said they support the students demonstrations, though nearly 24 percent said they back the activists’ demands but not their conduct.

The poll was conducted among 1,000 registered voters April 30 to May 3 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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