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Politics & Policy

Top Sponsors Quietly Drop Women’s March amid Anti-Semitism Allegations

Kavya Mishra participates in the Second Annual Women’s March in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2018. (Leah Millis/REUTERS)

The Women’s March has finally released an official list of sponsors and partners for its third annual March on Washington, which will take place on Saturday. Leading the charge are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood Action, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

It appears that these progressive groups weren’t swayed from their support by the December Tablet magazine exposé, which detailed allegations of anti-Semitism and financial corruption against top Women’s March leaders.

Judging from the Women’s March website, the group’s reputation appears to have taken a hit. For its first March on Washington, which took place the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the group racked up nearly 550 partners, many of which were well-known progressive groups. This year, the number of partners has dropped significantly, to just over 200 — and those partners are much smaller in stature.

Several notable left-wing activist groups that had sponsored the inaugural Women’s March don’t appear on this year’s list of partners. In 2017, the NAACP, Emily’s List, NARAL, the National Abortion Federation, the AFL-CIO, the SEIU and its health-care union 1199SEIU, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, Center for American Progress, and National Resources Defense Council all served as partners. Several of them were even billed as “social justice partners” and “movement friends,” distinguished from other lower-level partnerships.

This year, not a single one of those groups appears on the list of Women’s March partners. But, of course, none of them has issued a statement formally explaining their decision to distance themselves from the event. In the wake of the Tablet article, I reached out to more than 20 of the most prominent progressive groups that had sponsored the 2017 march, and few even bothered to reply.

Even so, a select group of high-profile progressive organizations are sticking by the Women’s March anyway. Along with the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the AFT, which are listed as top sponsors, the National Organization for Women and are billed partners.

That any progressive groups would be willing to continue sponsoring or partnering with the Women’s March, despite the Tablet piece, is highly disconcerting. The careful report included eyewitness accounts from several former members of Women’s March leadership, who claimed that Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez — current Women’s March leaders, who helped found the group in November 2016 — have privately expressed anti-Semitic sentiments, even toward Jewish women who had once served on the group’s leadership board, too.

The article also outlined how several of the group’s leaders have expressed frequent support for noted anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan and his group the Nation of Islam, even contracting with the group’s security detail to provide security for Women’s March events. On The View this morning, Mallory doubled down on her affiliation with Farrakhan, saying of her social-media post calling him the “greatest of all time” that she was referring to his work in black communities, not to his rhetoric.

Though Sarsour, Mallory, and Perez posted a video denying the allegations in Tablet and challenging their accusers to a public debate, the Women’s March never released an official statement in response to the report.

As former top sponsors silently back away from this year’s march, the few that remain look even more foolish.


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