Women's March Chicago Won't March in January, Organizers Say

Organizers said they are planning some sort of “anniversary action” on Jan. 19

The Women’s March Chicago won’t be celebrating their anniversary with another march in the city, organizers said.

According to a post on Women’s March Chicago’s Facebook page, organizers put “so much time, money, energy and effort into our October event, we will NOT be marching again in January.”

The group in October gathered an estimated 100,000 people in Grant Park for a March to the Polls even ahead of the Midterm elections.

Still, organizers said they are planning some sort of “anniversary action” on Jan. 19, but details on what that would be weren’t immediately clear.

The post came just two weeks after Women’s March Chicago released a statement further distancing itself from the national Women’s March Inc. in wake of controversy surrounding leadership and accusations of anti-Semitism. The leadership has been criticized for failing to condemn comments from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who in February praised march leader Tamika Mallory.

"As an additional point of clarification, and as many of you already know, Women's March Chicago is not now and never has been affiliated with Women's March Inc. We receive ZERO funding or organizational support from them and share NO common leadership," the group wrote on their Facebook page. 

The comments follow a March statement denouncing "anti-Semitic remarks made by Louis Farrakhan." 

“No universe exists in which it is acceptable to support anti-Semitic statements. Women's March Chicago condemns bigotry in all its forms. We reject Minister Louis Farrakhan's anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views. Our work is to fight against social and racial injustice everywhere, no matter its source,” Women’s March Chicago wrote.

One of the organizers of the original Women's March in 2017 said earlier this month that she will not attend or speak at an anniversary event in Washington D.C. amid the growing criticism. She has also called for national leaders of the movement to step down, saying they have “steered the movement away from its true course.”

“I have waited, hoping they would right the ship. But they have not. In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti- LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs,” she wrote on Facebook.

National co-chair Linda Sarsour defended herself last month, writing that organizers have been “crystal clear in both of our statements that we reject antisemitism and all forms of racism.”

“Tamika and I are women with our own agency,” she wrote. “We speak for ourselves and ourselves alone. We are being stripped of our agency when every few months we are asked to condemn the Minister about words that we did not say, nonetheless the words of a man who did not consult us on his words.”

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