- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Black leaders yesterday called for a rally in the District this fall to mark the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March, this time including women.

Separately, the Anti-Defamation League criticized the lead role of organizer Louis Farrakhan.

Mr. Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, appeared with former presidential candidates the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton to announce the Millions More Movement in October.

It is billed as a more inclusive successor to the Million Man March, encouraging women and homosexuals to attend.

Mr. Farrakhan, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in the past, issued a broad invitation that also criticized the wealthy and both political parties.

“Millions More means we’re reaching for the millions who carry the rich on their backs,” he said.

Mr. Farrakhan also used the sort of provocative language that has prompted past criticism.

“If anybody deserves to strap a bomb on themselves and give pain for the pain we have suffered, it is we. But none of us would kill,” he said.

The Anti-Defamation League, which has long criticized Mr. Farrakhan, urged other black leaders to separate their cause from him.

“When will someone in the African-American community stand up and say that the Million Man March had a positive message but the pied piper is a racist and anti-Semite?” ADL director Abraham Foxman said.

Mr. Sharpton alluded to the sometimes chilly relations among the three black leaders, but said they were working together to make the event a success and to end disparities between black and white Americans.

“We don’t come to argue today about who said what, who did what. Our family is in crisis,” Mr. Sharpton said.

Organizers are promoting a Day of Absence from work and school Friday, Oct. 14, followed by a march in the District on Oct. 15, and religious services the next day.

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