First, two high-profile liberal actors broke from the national Women’s March because of a pattern of anti-Semitism involving march leaders. Then a number of local Women’s March organizers either broke with the group or made it clear that they operated independently after a Tablet investigation provided detailed accounts of the anti-Semitism repeatedly exhibited among March leaders Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez. The story also uncovered some questionable financial structures established after the leadership pushed other founders aside.
The National Organization for Women (NOW), perhaps the most prominent feminist organization in the country, announced Friday that it would no longer provide financial support to the Women’s March “until the current questions regarding leadership are resolved.”
A petition urging March leaders to step down has gathered more than 8,000 signatures.
NOW is not fully severing ties. It “will participate and organize members to attend the March” on Jan. 19, the statement said. But the announcement remains significant as the first major sponsor to cut financial support.
The controversy took off last spring when Mallory and Sarsour would not condemn an anti-Semitic sermon by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom both have praised in the past. Sarsour followed that up by giving a speech saying the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, was liable for police shootings of unarmed black people in America.
The Tablet investigation described an “organizational structure … [involving] complicated financial arrangements, confusing even to experts.”