On January 19, 2019, the third annual Women’s March will return to the streets of Washington D.C., as well as other cities worldwide.
An estimated half a million people turned out for the first Women’s March, in January 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The original march route, alongside the National Mall, was so packed that once the march began in the afternoon, organizers were forced to tell protesters to make their own route to the White House by way of alternative streets.
In January 2018, organizers switched the primary venue to Las Vegas, adopting the slogan “Power to the Polls” and focusing on the midterm elections, with sister marches held in dozens of other cities. As all those new senators and representatives get their feet under their desks, the March is switching its focus back to the Capitol. “We are setting our sights on what happens after all those folks were elected,” Rachel O’Leary Carmona, chief operating officer of the Women’s March, told ABC News.
The 2019 event, dubbed “The Women’s Wave” and focusing on an end to violence against women, will assemble on the National Mall at 10am, and march at 11am to the rally location on the steps of Lincoln Memorial. The rally will be held from 1:30pm to 4pm. The speaker line-up will be released shortly, Carmona told ABC.
In addition to the main march in D.C., others are already planned for almost every U.S. state, with some states hosting multiple events. California will have 20 marches; Michigan and Florida will each have eight; and Pennsylvania, New York and Texas will each have seven.
The Women’s March’s global events page already confirms events in dozens of cities internationally, from Australia to Zambia.
After glorious beginnings, the Women’s March has been the more recent subject of controversy, with founder Teresa Shook calling on the group’s current leadership to step down over their refusal to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — whose anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views were thrust into the spotlight in recent months and then again following a horrific mass-shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Local chapters of the Women’s March have further accused the national group of failing to show adequate support for their own marches. Offshoot groups such as March On, the Women’s March Alliance in New York City, and Women’s March Los Angeles are all also increasingly challenging the national organization — including over their attempt to trademark the phrase, “Women’s March.”
Shook’s public call-out follows a similar move from #MeToo leader and actress Alyssa Milano who announced earlier this month that she was distancing herself from the Women’s March over their failure to “call out and address” bigotry and anti-Semitism.
In response to Shook, leaders Bland, Mallory, Sarsour, and Perez said that the lawyer’s criticism was disingenuous, and accused her of trying “to take advantage of our growing pains to try and fracture our network.”
In another statement, the group said that they “reject anti-Semitism” in all its forms and that they did not “support or endorse statements made by Minister Louis Farrakhan about women, Jewish and LGBTQ communities.”
Read the full story at ABC.