Controversy, winter storms, and a new mission: here's everything you need to know about the 2019 Women's March

Chelsea Pineda/INSIDER
  • Women’s rights advocates are expected to march in cities across the country today for the third year.
  • Low turnout is expected after the Women’s March has been mired in controversy and those who do march in East Coast cities will likely face inclement weather and freezing temperatures.
  • After leadership faced accusations of anti-Semitism, Women’s March, Inc. announced it will go ahead with hosting several marches this year in the name of its original mission, in addition to a new selection of civil rights concerns.

Women’s rights advocates are slated to march in cities across the country today in the third year of Women’s Marches.

This year’s marches have been mired in controversy, and protestors will be facing freezing temperatures. Though the organisers behind the embattled Women’s March, Inc reportedlysubmitted a permit application for up to 500,000 people, actual turnout is expected to be far lower.

The first Women’s March in January 2017 drew approximately 485,000 protesters who gathered in Washington, DC days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Since then, Women’s March Inc. has sparked serious concerns after one of the movement’s founders publicly accused the four main leaders of the national march organisation of anti-Semitism in November.

The controversy

Teresa Shook leveled the accusation specifically at two of the organisation’s primary leaders: Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American with a long history of criticising Israeli policy, and Tamika Mallory, who is associated with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan is known for making anti-Semitic statements.

The organisation hit back against Shook‘s accusations and the co-chairs refused to step down.

A new policy statement released by the organisation is the latest in the group’s efforts to clarify its mission for this year’s demonstrations. The document lists violence against women, environmental justice, and rights for LGBTQIA+ and immigrant communities among its chief concerns.

The details

A winter storm expected to blanket the northeast Saturday spelled trouble in the form of snow and freezing rain for protestors in East Coast cities, but as of Saturday morning, the marches were slated to continue as planned.

Here are some of the largest marches planned for today:

  • Boston: Protestors will gather at the Boston Common for the 2019 Boston Women’s March organised by March Forward Massachusetts that will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.
  • Los Angeles: The downtown march will start at Pershing Square at 10 a.m. and end at City Hall at 2 p.m.
  • New York City:Women’s March Alliance, which is different from Women’s March, Inc., is hosting their third New York City march, which will begin with a “kick-off” at 11:00 a.m. at 62nd Street and Central Park West. Protestors will march along Central Park.
  • San Francisco: The Women’s March San Francisco 2019 March and Rally is being put on in partnership between Planned Parenthood Northern California and Women’s March, Inc. The rally will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Civic Center Plaza and continue down Market Street to the Embarcadero.
  • Seattle: The Womxn’s March on Seattle will include a wide range of activities, beginning with a rally at the city’s Cal Anderson Park at 9 a.m. before a march that will end at Seattle Center, where the organisation is holding activism panels and workshops.
  • Washington, DC: Despite the waves of controversy surrounding the organisation that put on the original Washington Women’s March, the group’s site says it is re-committed to its new mission and will begin gathering protestors downtown at Freedom Plaza at 10 a.m.

Read more on INSIDER:

The Democratic National Committee ended its sponsorship of the Women’s March after co-leader Tamika Mallory refuses to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan

Photos from the ground at the historic Women’s March in Washington, DC

16 women throughout history who famously fought for equality

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