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C.O. Women’s March organizers react to national controversy


The Women’s March was meant to unify. Two years later, the national movement faces internal division, though leaders of a planned upcoming Bend event said they are not affiliated with that organization.

Top leaders of the national Women’s March organization are being accused of anti-Semitic behavior, and ignoring the concerns of thousands of Jewish backers.

One former march leader, Vanessa Wruble, said she felt she was forced out of the group’s leadership in part because she is Jewish. Wruble cited one conversation in which some march organizers said Jews were “predominantly involved in the slave trade, and that Jews make a lot of money off black and brown bodies.”

Co-president of the Women’s March Tamika Mallory said that exchange never happened.

Other Women’s March organizers across the country are calling for leaders of the national group to cut ties with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who said “the powerful Jews are my enemy” at a past event.

The Central Oregon Women’s March is not affiliated with the national organization, and local leaders wanted to be clear they do not condone that type of behavior.

“We’re all a bunch of individuals that want to put on a march in solidarity for women of all backgrounds, all races, all religious backgrounds,” Nancy Boever, one of the leaders of the Central Oregon Women’s March, said Thursday evening. “There’s no room for intolerance at all.”

NewsChannel 21 asked Boever how the problems that have surfaced might impact the movement moving forward.

“When you have these things and you start dividing within the group, it can have a deflation of the movement,” Boever said.

The Central Oregon Women’s March will still take place later this month, despite some other cities canceling their events. The march is set for Saturday, Jan. 19, at noon in downtown Bend.

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