Organizers of the Women’s March rally for Humboldt County in northern California canceled its January march over concerns that the participants would be “overwhelmingly white.”
The march was originally scheduled to take place on January 19 in Eureka but was canceled after “many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march,” one of the organizers said in a statement on the group’s Facebook page.
“The local organizers are continuing to meet and discuss how to broaden representation in the organizing committee to create an event that represents and supports peoples who live here in Humboldt,” the statement said. “Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community.”
According to Fox News, data from the Census Bureau in July claims the county is 74% non-Hispanic white.
According to The Washington Post, the Eureka group does not appear to be an official chapter of the Women’s March in California.
“Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach,” the statement added. “ Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community.”
The group also said that they are exploring holding an event to celebrate International Women’s Day which takes place on March 8, and encouraged their local supporters to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Eureka on January 21.
About 4,000 to 5,000 people reportedly attended the group’s 2018 march.
Chicago Women’s March organizers also canceled their planned January 19 march, citing high costs and limited volunteers. The Chicago Tribune also reported that the cancellation also involved “splintering within the national Women’s March leadership following accusations of anti-Semitism and scrutiny of its ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.”
Earlier this month, the Women’s March organizers in Washington state dissolved their chapter following the reports of anti-Semitism in the national organization’s highest ranks.
“Continuing to be a part of the Women’s March with the blatant bigotry they display would be breaking a promise,” the group’s spokeswoman said on Facebook at the time. “We can’t betray our Jewish community by remaining a part of this organization.”
The co-founder of the Women’s March, Teresa Shook, demanded the current co-chairs of the Women’s March step down in November over the concerns of anti-Semitism.
“Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course,” Shook wrote. “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.”
Previous high-profile vocal supporters of the group, Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing, also distanced themselves from the national organization over concerns of anti-Semitism.
“Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano told The Advocate.
The official national Women’s March is still scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on January 19.