CHICAGO (CBS) – Chaos in New York is causing confusion here in Chicago about what is going on behind the scenes of the Women’s March movement.
This rift’s been brewing for some time, pitting groups of women against each other within the national chapter.
There are concerns it may have a ripple effect in Chicago. Local organizers say it shouldn’t because Chicago has nothing to do with it.
In Chicago tens of thousands of people showed up for the first Women’s March almost two years ago and the second one last October.
But the east coast turmoil is forcing organizers like Harlene Ellin to correct the erroneous impression that a New York leadership rift is causing Chicago strife.
“We are not affiliated with Women’s March, Inc., which is the national organization. We don’t receive any funding from them,” Ellin said.
New York’s troubles stem from charges of anti-Semitism among leaders of the original Women’s March chapter. It’s caused the chapter to splinter into two groups and now two marches next month.
“I hope that we can move past this” Ellin said.
But Ellin says it should be a non-issue here because Chicago has been planning a day of action instead of a march in January all along – a necessary change, she says, after the massively attended march to the midterms.
It just would not have been possible to have a march the magnitude of the one that we pulled off in October so soon again in January,” Ellin said. “we love marching and we will march again. We promise we will march again. But we also think that it’s great to take what you’ve learned from your marching experience and put it to work in your own community,” she said.
Ellin says it costs $150,000 for organizers to put on a march, which the Chicago non-profit has to raise itself.
Their next big push after Operation Activation here on January 19 is Chicago’s upcoming mayoral election.