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Local Women’s March leaders say Jan. march was never planned, urge small events

Thousands marched through the streets of Chicago for the Women's March to the Polls in October. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Local organizers of Women’s March Chicago clarified Wednesday that they never planned to hold a march next month but instead used their resources for a March to the Polls event in October.

The group denied reports that they canceled plans for a third-anniversary march, insisting that they decided in the spring to move the date of the march closer to the 2018 election.

“We never planned a march for January,” Women’s March Chicago spokeswoman Harlene Ellin told the Sun-Times Wednesday. “Last spring we decided to move our march to October this year to latch on to the energy of the election and get people out to vote.”

RELATED: Democratic activists push to the polls with third Chicago Women’s March

Women’s March Chicago leaders knew they did not have enough resources to hold two marches, so they decided to plan for only October and to help organize separate, individually planned events on the march’s anniversary.

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to do another march,” Ellin said. “But we knew we also wanted to do something in place of the anniversary in January.”

The group released details Wednesday of their anniversary march plans, which includes helping individuals plan their own local demonstrations.

“To be clear, Women’s March Chicago is not holding a march in January,” the group wrote in a press release. “Women’s March Chicago is calling on you to spearhead an action in your community.”

The group asked people to organize privately planned events — details of which will be published on the Women’s March Chicago website.

Women’s March Chicago also warned people of phony marches planned for Jan. 19 that were created mainly to sell merchandise.

The group emphasized that Women’s March Chicago is independent of the national group, Women’s March Inc.

“We operate completely independently from the national women’s march,” Ellin said. “We don’t discuss our actions with them, so the idea that we did this because of the national group — that’s a false narrative.”