In recent U.S. history, for as long as there've been protests, there have been some people who are indeed paid to be there. I've even met a small handful of people who are paid to attend protests. Who are those people? They are the protest organizers who are regular employees of an advocacy organization, or contracted event planners such an organization engaged to manage the protest event and it's related activities and needs. Along with attending the protest, these people are paid to do things such as the following: Coordinate security Obtain permits Garner and deploy publicity (external) Coordinate communications leading up to and during the event (internal) Obtain protest facilities like stages, signs, port-a-potties, speakers, lights, microphones, etc. Obtain protest "stuff" -- hats, pins, t-shirts, pennants and banners, etc. Engage keynote speakers Draft and/or write speeches, perhaps delivering one as well Negotiate accommodations and transportation discounts and/or obtain transportation for "the masses" and that advocacy group pays for without being remunerated How large need be a protest for there to be people paid to the sorts of things noted above? A protest having more than about 50 expected attendees will require most, if not all, of those activities, and from a management standpoint, it takes just as many people to do them for a 200 person protest as it does for a 200K person protest. Of late, I've seen a fair amount about paid protesters. That catchy alliteration is generally used with reference to the throngs of people who show up at the protest to lend only their voice to the cause. I haven't seen anything -- other than unfounded assertions -- indicating that any advocacy groups -- conservative or liberal -- pay masses of people to waste their day protesting because they're being paid to do so. I haven't seen or heard of any protesters saying something to the effect of, "I don't really believe in this cause, but they paid me to be among the masses here, so here I am shouting and hollering." I haven't found any advocacy group that attests to paying "the masses" to attend their events. I also haven't come by any advocacy group that pays individuals to protest at smaller events like town hall meetings and political rallies. Indeed, the closest I've come by to any of that is the jocularly satirical column Rex Huppke mockingly wrote for the Chicago Tribune. I've read about the organization DemandProtest.com and seen allegations that they pay people to protest. Be that as it may, according to publicly available WhoIs information, although demandprotest.com attracted virtually no attention until January 2017, the domain name didn't exist prior to December 2016. December 2016 is not when allegations of paid protesters began. Moreover, even the conspiracy theory promoting site Infowars doubts the credibly of claims about DemandProtest.com paying protesters saying, "It’s unclear if the DemandProtest.com website is actually legitimate." Now people can and will make claims of all sorts, but they need to be backed up with incontrovertible (or at least logically sound) evidence. Merely making a claim doesn't make it so. And worst of all, among the most vocal folks advancing this notion of paid masses protesting is the "Conspiracy Theorist and Prevaricator in Chief," Donald Trump.