MidEast

Local Chapters Pressuring National Women’s March Over Anti-Semitism

As the Women’s March prepares to march again on January 19, the organization’s national leadership is under intense pressure from local branches over allegations of anti-Semitism against co-chairs Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez.

Several local affiliates are disbanding, defecting or distancing themselves from the national branch over their ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic views, USA Today reported on Friday.

Accusations of anti-Semitism were lodged against Mallory, when she was captured on video attending a Nation of Islam event in which Louis Farrakhan said, “the powerful Jew is my enemy.” The leadership of the March defended Mallory against charges of anti-Semitism.

Earlier this week, the Washington State chapter of the Women’s March announced its dissolution over the controversy and other concerns. In separate incidents, the local branch of the organization in Denver rebranded as Womxn’s (the x represents inclusion) March Denver, while Women’s March Los Angeles posted a statement on its website informing the public of its separation from the national leadership.

“I don’t think four women from New York represent us on a national level,” said Emiliana Guereca, executive director of Women’s March Los Angeles. “We’re all local community organizers. We receive no funding, no feedback, no structure from Women’s March Inc., which is what is supposed to happen out of a national organization,” she added. The leader of the local branch in Denver, Angela Astle, commented, “Hate speech is wrong, period.”

It also emerged that more than one dozen local Women’s March chapters – including six local groups that share the “Women’s March” name – have filed legal paperwork opposing the New York-based national leadership’s application to trademark the name.

Several other affiliates oppose the trademark monopoly, including Women’s March groups in Washington D.C., and Colorado as well as Women’s March groups in the California communities of San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, and Contra Costa County.

In a critique of the Women’s March in November, the organization’s founder Teresa Shook called on the movement’s current co-chairs to resign over anti-Semitic rhetoric and bigotry, just days after Sarsour suggested American Jews have dual loyalties.

Actress and #MeToo influencer Alyssa Milano also distanced herself from the movement, saying she was disappointed in the national leadership and their refusal to condemn Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks. Milano earned the support of fellow actress Debra Messing.

As dissatisfaction with the national leadership of the Women’s March has spread, Tablet Magazine published an expose earlier this month showing that anti-Semitic attitudes held by Sarsour, Mallory, and Perez go back to the time of the march’s origin.

[Photo: slowking4 / WikiCommons ]