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Cincinnati Women's March Canceled: Reasons Are 'Practical Not Ideological'

Bill Rinehart
Demonstrators on Race Street during the 2018 Women's March.

The Ohio chapter of the Women's March announced Friday that Cincinnati's event had been canceled, but an organizer of the local march says there may be an event this weekend after all. Rashida Manuel says a number of people stepped up after hearing the march was canceled and said they wanted to help.

"I told them yes, I'm definitely willing to work with you," Manuel tells WVXU. "I want this to happen too. I'm waiting to see what we can come up with."

Manuel says if there is an event, it will be much smaller than previous marches, which drew thousands of people to Washington Park in 2017 and The Banks in 2018. The demonstrations in communities across the nation were a response to rhetoric and policies from President Donald Trump. 

Manuel says during the organization of this year's march, she was working with the Young Activists Coalition. "The groups were never really able to coalesce," she says. "As a result, we decided to split in late December. The reason why we waited as long as we did was because we really wanted to have the march."

She says with limited time for fundraising, and a number of expenses, she and other organizers decided to cancel the march. Manuel says difficulties were practical, not ideological. "We see the Women's March as an opportunity for women of all backgrounds to come together and to rally around that unifying factor of identifying as a woman or a feminine person."

There are accusations across the country of anti-semitism within organizers' ranks. "It was really disheartening when that happened nationally, but we definitely have made it clear that's not what we're really about," Manuel says.

Manuel says paying for a location and insurance was too much for them to overcome.

She says instead of a big march this year, they are focused on the future. "Next year is 2020. It's an election year. It's a big year, and we really want to have a big event to galvanize women here in Ohio to take action."

Cincinnati Socialist Alternative posted plans on Facebook to hold a march Saturday at Sawyer Point. A Facebook post from the Young Activists Coalition in early December indicated that's where the January rally and march would take place.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.