A women’s march that was set to take place in Eureka, California, on January 19 has been cancelled over concerns that there would not be enough diverse participants, Newsweek is reporting. The protest’s organizers confirmed the cancellation in a Facebook post.
“The local organizers are continuing to meet and discuss how to broaden representation in the organizing committee to create an event that represents and supports peoples who live here in Humboldt,” the statement read.
“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community. Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach. Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community.”
Many people voiced their displeasure in response. According to Census Bureau data from July, 2018, Humboldt County, which is where the town of Eureka is located, is 74 percent non-Hispanic white. This is followed by 12 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Native American, 2 percent Asian, and only 1 percent black. The event organizers say they are looking into holding a different event in March in honor of International Women’s Day. They are also trying to encourage residents to attend Eureka’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on January 21.
This is not the first time an upcoming women’s march has had to be cancelled. Chicago recently cancelled their Women’s March that was also set to take place in January as they claimed to have already put “so much time, money, energy and effort” into a “March to the Polls” event ahead of the midterm elections in November. Chicago was already facing controversy, as their branch publicly condemned the national branch’s relationship with Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam, which is considered an anti-Semitic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to the Hill, Farrakhan has made anti-Semitic statements such as “the powerful Jews are my enemy.” Many other branches have attempted to disassociate with the national branch due to this.
The first ever Women’s March was held in Washington, D.C., the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. While the march received a lot of praise, it also saw criticism from people who said their was not enough diversity among protesters and speakers. Other Women’s Marches in other communities are attempting to remedy this for 2019.