Did The Women’s March Implode Over Anti-Semitism, Ties To Nation Of Islam?

Did The Women’s March Implode Over Anti-Semitism, Ties To Nation Of Islam?

Don’t mark those calendars just yet. The annual Chicago Women’s March will not be happening in January as usual.

Was the march postponed over statements made by the Minister Louis Farrakhan of the National of Islam that were broadly seen as anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ?

Organizers say “no.”

The backlash all started when the national Women’s March group co-President Tamika Mallory attended the Nation of Islam’s annual Savior’s Day gathering in Chicago. At that event, Farrakhan made statements about “powerful Jews” that were viewed as inflammatory. Mallory later denounced the statements.

That is not the reason the Chicago chapter of the Women’s March is rescheduling its march. Over the years, the march has drawn thousands of people to Grant Park. The Women’s March Chicago is independent of the national group, Women’s March Inc.

Chicago organizers decided to hold a march in October ahead of the midterm elections and against holding a march in January because of high costs and limited volunteers, according to the Chicago chapter organizers, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

“We receive zero funding or organizational support from them and share no common leadership,” Women’s March Chicago wrote in its Facebook group.

The leadership of the Chicago march is upset with press coverage from the Chicago Tribune, which reported that the march was canceled over the Farrakhan controversy.

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“The initial Tribune headline is totally inaccurate,” Women’s March Chicago communications lead Harlene Ellin told the Washington Examiner.

The Chicago march is planning events to recognize the anniversary of the original National march, which occurred the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 19, 2017 and reportedly drew millions of protesters across the country as well as around the world.

Other chapters of the march are also facing problems. In California, Eureka’s Women’s March has canceled this year’s event amid concerns that past events have been “overwhelmingly white,” the North Coast Journal reported.


Women's March
Photo: Unsplash

The Eureka’s Women’s March released this statement: “Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community. Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach.”

Although there will be no march in January, the Women’s March Chicago organization will recognize the annual event with an action.  The WMC has issued a call for all women and their allies to spearhead community actions on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

“Operation Activation calls on Chicago area women and allies to spearhead or participate in community actions that help people feel safe, included, respected and represented, while encouraging others to activate,” according to the press release.

“We applaud social actions, civil actions, roundtables and fundraisers — any action, large or small — that aligns with WMC’s mission, which focuses on the well-being of women and their allies in our communities,” said Jaquie Algee, WMC board president.

There have already been committed to do various actions, including: organizing neighborhood cleanups in South Side neighborhoods; hosting a training seminar to teach people how to actively and safely support people targeted by bigotry and hatred; writing postcards to legislators advocating for the DREAM Act, automatic voter registration, and sensible gun laws; collecting winter gear and supplies and directly distributing them to Chicago’s homeless.

This article was originally published on Jan. 31, 2018. We incorrectly reported that the march would occur in March. Instead of marking the anniversary march in January, the organization will host a day of action on January 19, in which they encourage supporters to perform a positive action in their own communities.