- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The 2018 Women’s March wasn’t exactly a bust, but the one-year anniversary event also fell well short of its historic predecessor in terms of crowd size as divisions surfaced within the left-wing movement’s ranks.

Initial estimates from the Crowd Counting Consortium show that between 1.8 and 2.6 million attended last weekend’s marches, down from the 3.2 to 5.3 million who flooded U.S. parks and streets on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

“That’s about half the number who participated in 2017,” said University of Denver professor Erica Chenoweth, who co-founded the consortium, adding, “Most national-level organizers did not expect this many people to participate in either year.”

It would have been difficult to replicate the success of the 2017 march, which provided an outlet for shell-shocked Hillary Clinton supporters still reeling from her unexpected defeat, but the sophomore slump may go beyond the enthusiasm drop-off.

In the weeks before last weekend’s multicity events, Women’s March Inc. found itself accused of being both too progressive to appeal to women nationwide, particularly those in red states, and too much a part of the Democratic Party establishment.

Two days before the Jan. 21 marches, Women’s March issued a statement warning would-be marchers that “not all of the marches being organized to commemorate the anniversary share the values and principles of the Women’s March.”

The group was apparently referring to its reported branding squabbles with March On, a women’s organization that emerged from the 2017 Women’s March and has reached out to marchers in red states and rural communities.

“There are many different events this weekend that are associating themselves under the ‘Women’s March’ banner, but not all of them share the national Women’s March’s commitment to intersectionality,” said the Women’s March statement.

Led by Tamika D. Mallory and Linda Sarsour, Women’s March Inc. has pushed the intersectionality theme, folding women’s issues into a larger progressive agenda that includes gun control, immigration, universal health care, LGBT rights, racism, police brutality, climate change, and Palestinian rights.

Even so, Black Lives Matter of Cincinnati issued a statement Jan. 7 saying that it would not join the 2018 Cincinnati Women’s March because it placed too much emphasis on voter registration and electing Democrats.

“The Women’s March is a gathering and a display of power, but it is also a poorly veiled campaign to elect more Democrats to ‘resist Trump,’” said the BLM statement. “The main demand being made of marchers is to register to vote and the ‘take back the polls.’ We believe this is the weakest demand possible and the tacked on broader demands have little meaning when the main message is to ‘pull a lever.’”

The group urged would-be marchers “not to stand by and let women of color and working-class women be sold out once again by the Democratic Party.”

“The Women’s March is not feminism, it’s liberalism and liberalism doesn’t liberate anyone,” said the statement.

On the other side, conservatives have criticized the Women’s March for dismissing pro-life and pro-Israel women, and for partnering with convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was involved in the international Day Without a Woman general strike in March.

Not that all Palestinians are happy with the Women’s March. Last week, the Palestinian American Women’s Association pulled out of the Los Angeles event over the inclusion of featured speaker Scarlett Johansson, who is Jewish and a supporter of Israel, as reported by the Jerusalem Post.

Certainly the Women’s March has made no secret of its push to elect Democrats. This year’s theme was Power to the Polls, and the marches signaled the launch of a national voter registration tour aimed at channeling the “activism of the Women’s March into tangible strategies and concrete wins in 2018.”

At Saturday’s rally in Atlanta, Ms. Sarsour gave shout-outs to three Democratic candidates for governor in Georgia, Idaho and Michigan, while other events featured a host of Democratic candidates and officeholders, such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who spoke in Washington, D.C.

Instead of the Washington Mall, the Women’s March held its flagship rally at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, a six-hour event featuring a host of Democrats and allies that wound up with more empty seats than attendees.

Crowds in Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington, D.C., were also smaller than last year, based on estimates by local news outlets, although Chicago saw an increase from about 250,000 to 300,000, according to organizers.

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