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women's march

Women's March founder calls for leaders to step down amid anti-Semitism controversy

The founder of the Women's March is joining growing calls for its current leaders to step down.

After Teresa Shook's plan for a march against President Trump took off, she handed the reins over to a group of activists. But in a Monday statement, Shook said those new leaders had "steered the movement away from its true course" because they "have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform."

After Shook launched the idea for a Women's March, activists Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour stepped up to organize it. Millions of people around the world marched the day after President Trump's inauguration, inspiring follow-up marches of the same nature.

Months later, criticism began to arise over Mallory, Perez, and Sarsour's ties to Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments. They've since come short of condemning Farrakhan, prompting conservative calls to boycott future Women's March events. Sarsour has received most of the derision for the Farrakhan ties, as well as other controversial comments.

All of these moves are "in opposition" to the Women's March's principles, Shook said in her Monday statement. So in an effort to bring the movement back to its roots, Shook called for "the current co-chairs to step down" and for leaders who can "restore" the march's "original intent" to step forward.