Organizers won’t hold Chicago Women’s March in January

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Thousands rally in Grant Park before the start of the Women’s March to the Polls. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the march had been canceled. Organizers said they never planned to hold the march in January.

Local organizers say they have no plans to hold a large-scale Chicago Women’s March next month.

The march in Chicago drew thousands of people to Grant Park the last two years, but organizers said they decided to hold a march in October ahead of the midterm elections and against holding a march in January because of high costs and limited volunteers.

The decision came after the Chicago chapter condemned and distanced itself from the national Women’s March leadership for its ties to anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ statements from Minister Louis Farrakhan of the National of Islam.

RELATED: Chicago Women’s March organizers say January march never planned, urge smaller events

The national group faced backlash earlier this year when co-president Tamika Mallory attended the Nation of Islam’s annual Savior’s Day gathering in Chicago, during which Farrakhan made inflammatory statements about “powerful Jews” he considered enemies.

Mallory later denounced the anti-Semitic comments, but said she had been attending the annual event since childhood after she received help from the Nation of Islam when she was in need.

Regional Women’s March groups have continued to pressure leaders of the national group to step down or completely denounce the National of Islam.

“No universe exists in which it is acceptable to support anti-Semitic statements,” the Chicago chapter said in a statement in March. “Women’s March Chicago condemns bigotry in all its forms.”

Women’s March Chicago leadership emphasized that they are independent of the national group, Women’s March Inc.

“We receive zero funding or organizational support from them and share no common leadership,” Women’s March Chicago wrote in their Facebook group.

The local organizers said they would plan another activity for the day of the canceled march, Jan. 19, but have not released details.

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