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United in Fight Against Trump, They're Now Fighting Each Other

Behind-the-scenes controversy for Women's March, with accusations of anti-Semitism, white supremacy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2018 8:47 AM CST
In this Jan. 21, 2017, file photo, demonstrators begin to gather in Washington for the Women's March.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – It was one of the biggest marches in US history, and now there's a big controversy brewing behind the scenes. Held on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Trump's inauguration, the Women's March drew millions and spurred women nationwide to get into politics, rallying behind Dems in midterm elections and even making a record run for office themselves. But as plans solidify for the two-year anniversary march next month, the Women's March founder has asked its co-chairs to step down amid accusations of anti-Semitism, while the co-chairs are pushing back with their own assertions that Jewish activists need to own their own role in racism. The New York Times reports that a rift started among activists at the first Women's March meeting, in which organizer Vanessa Wruble says co-chairs Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez wanted to fill her in about the "dark side of Jewish history."

Tablet delves further into that meeting, and the resulting fallout, including how founder Teresa Shook last month asked co-chairs Mallory, Perez, Linda Sarsour, and Bob Bland to step down, saying they've "steered the Movement away from its true course" by allowing "anti-Semitism, anti- LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform." Part of how they're doing that, Shook and others say, is through their ties to the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan, who's known to make anti-Semitic comments. Local organizers are now trying to distance themselves from the original group, USA Today notes. Mallory and Perez tell the Times they condemn anti-Semitism, with Mallory adding, "We've all learned a lot about how while white Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy, ALL Jews are targeted by it." Tablet's deep dive here. (The date has been set for the next Women's March.)

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