Canada’s Government to Help Newfoundland Dig Out After Massive Blizzard

Canada’s federal government will help Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast dig out in the wake of a massive winter blizzard that buried cars and left thousands without power, a Cabinet minister said Saturday.
The storm dumped as much as 76.2 cm (30 inches) of snow on St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, and packed wind gusts as high as 130 km per hour (81 mph). The snowfall was an all-time record for the day for St. John’s International Airport.
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said earlier that a state of emergency declared Friday remained in effect. Businesses were closed, as was the international airport.
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said military reservists might be called in, but details of the assistance had yet to be worked out. The immediate priority will be snow removal and clearing roads to the snowbound hospital, he said.

A man is pictured in a snowy street in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Jan. 17, 2020.“We have a real issue right now with access to the hospital,” O’Regan told reporters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is meeting for two days in what it has called a retreat.
Commenting on the scale of the blizzard, O’Regan said: “It’s snow and a hurricane, and snow and a hurricane shuts down a city.”
The public safety and defense ministers, who were en route to Winnipeg, would be able to provide more details later, O’Regan said. Earlier, the provincial premier asked the government for support, including “mobilizing the Canadian Armed Forces.”
Thousands remained without power, and social media showed people had begun to literally dig out of their homes after snowdrifts blocked their doorways.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) confirmed a report of an avalanche slamming into a home in St. John’s Battery neighborhood, which sits at the entrance to the city’s harbor on the slopes of a steep hill.
A picture of the home on Twitter showed the living room filled with snow. The CBC also said a 26-year-old man has been reported missing after having set out to walk to a friend’s house on Friday during the blizzard.
“Help is on the way,” Trudeau tweeted.
 


Libya Oil Exports Blocked, Raising Stakes for Berlin Peace Summit 

Forces loyal to Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar blocked oil exports from the war-ravaged country’s main ports Saturday, raising the stakes on the eve of an international summit aimed at bringing peace to the North African nation. 
The move to cripple the country’s main income source was a protest against Turkey’s decision to send troops to shore up Haftar’s rival, the head of Tripoli’s U.N.-recognized government, Fayez al-Sarraj. 
It came ahead of Sunday’s conference in Berlin that will see the United Nations try to extract a pledge from world leaders to stop meddling in the Libyan conflict — be it through supplying troops, weapons or financing. 
“All foreign interference can provide some aspirin effect in the short term, but Libya needs all foreign interference to stop,” U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame told AFP in an interview. 
Call for ‘protection’
But Sarraj issued a call for international “protection troops” if Haftar keeps up his offensive. 
“Such a protection force must operate under the auspices of the United Nations. Experts will have to advise who should participate, such as the EU or the African Union or the Arab League,” he told the Die Welt newspaper on Sunday. 
The presidents of Russia, Turkey and France as well as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are to join the Sunday talks, held under the auspices of the U.N. 
Haftar and Sarraj are also expected, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas confirmed Saturday, ahead of the first gathering of such scale on the conflict since 2018. 
After months of combat, which has killed more than 2,000 people, a cease-fire took effect on January 12, backed by both Ankara and Moscow, which is accused of supporting Haftar. 
Drastic cut in crude production
But Saturday’s blockade raised fears over the conflict. 
The disruption to oil exports is expected to more than halve the country’s daily crude production, to 500,000 barrels from 1.3 million barrels, translating to losses of $55 million a day, Libya’s National Oil Company warned. 
“Our line at the U.N. is clear. Don’t play with petrol because it’s the livelihood of the Libyans,” warned Salame just hours before the blockade. 


Cameroon Teachers Protest, Seek Reinstatement of Corporal Punishment Amid Rising Violence

Cameroon teachers are protesting what they say is growing violence against them by both students and their parents, and the teachers are urging the government to protect them and reinstate corporal punishment. The teachers say the absence of corporal punishment is encouraging abuse of teachers. This week, several attacks on teaching staffs were reported, including one in which a teenage student fatally stabbed his teacher, in the capital.
Students shout Saturday at a government-run school in Obala, a town on the outskirts of Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, protesting the principal’s decision to destroy all mobile phones and knives seized from children Friday at the school.  One of their senior discipline masters, Narcisse Ateba, says the students use mobile phones to access social media platforms that promote violence, and they also use sharp objects such as knives to attack their peers and teachers.

Cameroon Teachers Protest Escalating Violence in Separatist Areas
As students in Cameroon began their annual exams Monday, hundreds of their teachers in English-speaking regions were on the streets protesting. The teachers are demanding better security after three teachers and a student were abducted, adding to scores captured, killed, or whose property was torched during a two-year separatist conflict.Teachers dressed in dark clothes and holding signs demanding better security walk down a street in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s northwest region.

He says that some parents and students will want to harass or beat him up, but he has nonetheless decided to publicly destroy the 15 mobile phones found and seized by teachers from students Friday because it is illegal to use them in classrooms. He says he will not allow students to come to school with razor blades, box-cutters and knives.
The destruction of the mobile phones and the peaceful marches to administrative offices and palaces are part of protests by teachers at Obala against what they say are increasing acts of violence against them.
This week, a 16-year-old student at the public school Nkolbisson in a neighborhood in Yaounde is accused of using a knife to stab his mathematics teacher who died of excessive bleeding as he was being rushed to a hospital. The school said the student insisted on using his mobile phone in class against the teacher’s instruction. The student was arrested and detained by police, and will be answering to charges, including premeditated killing.
Another teacher this week was battered by students in Douala for questioning why they were late to school, and yet another teacher in Douala was beaten by a parent and fell into a coma. The parent was said to be angry with the teacher’s decision to use corporal punishment on his son as punishment for making noise in class. In another incident, a student used a machete to chop off another student’s finger in Obala after a fight during a soccer match.
Elvis Yisinyuy, an official with the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union in Yaounde, says attacks by students on teachers intensified in 2015 when Cameroon prohibited teachers from beating or severely punishing students.
“When a minister says that teachers are not supposed to administer corporal punishment to students, the student will now see that he [the minister] has the right to bring disorder because there is nothing the teacher can do in class,” said Yisinyuy. “The minister should revisit the text and permit teachers to administer corporal punishment with caution.”

Cameroon Teachers Celebrate Teachers Day Amid Growing Challenges
October 5 is World Teachers Day, set aside to mobilize support and to ensure that the needs of future generations will be met by teachers. Some teachers, who work with Central African refugees in camps in eastern Cameroon or on the border with Central African Republic (C.A.R.), face especially difficult challenges.
Emmanuel Mbiydzenyuy asks students to be quiet and follow English language classes here at the government school in Dhahong in eastern Cameroon. Eighty of the 110 students in one class are…

Yusinyuy said the high wave of drug consumption by students and the inability of teachers to use corporal punishment because they have been prohibited from doing so is also responsible for the wave of attacks.
Nalova Lyonga, Cameroon minister of secondary education, says corporal punishment can not be tolerated because it is an abuse on the rights of students who are mostly children.
“What I have told the teachers is that they themselves have to make a distinction between a disciplinary case and a case which becomes a criminal case, and they should be able to report to the special police at the disposal of the schools,” said Lyonga.
Lyonga said Cameroon students are exposed to other cultures of the world because of the increasing use of mobile phones, and they gain access to social media platforms that promote violence, while neglecting the peace and unity that Cameroon traditionally preaches.
Carol Kayum, president of Reference Citizens, a non-governmental organization that promotes citizenship education, has been visiting schools in Yaounde to educate both teachers and students against violence. She says Cameroon should uphold it’s culture of non-violence to prevent the growing number of assaults on other students and teachers.
“Our cultures are rich. Parents should transmit them to children, and also there should be communication between schools and parents so that we know what our children are doing in school, and we also tell the school authorities what the children do at home,” said Kayum. “School authorities and parents should control the use of drugs.
Kayum said many people now join the teaching profession because they lack jobs, and not for the love of teaching, and as such, they are not loved by students.
The students also have complained they are harassed by some teachers whom they accuse of behaving poorly or not teaching well.
The Cameroon Ministry of Secondary Education has recorded 40 violent attacks by students on their peers, 22 attacks on teachers and 15 attacks by parents on teachers within the past  month. 


Honduras Government Fails to Extend Anti-Corruption Mission

Honduras and the Organization of American States failed to reach an agreement Friday to extend the mandate of an anti-corruption mission that had upset a number of national lawmakers by uncovering misuse of public funds.
The mandate of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras was set to expire Sunday.
“We did not reach a consensus on signing a new covenant between Honduras and the Organization of American States secretary general,” the Honduran government said in a statement.
The government said it was important to take into consideration the complaints from some economic and political sectors about the behavior of some of the mission’s members. Their complaints included allegations of “excesses” by the commission and charges that it “trampled their rights and constitutional guarantees,” the statement said.
Presidential minister Ebal Díaz, who participated in negotiations with the OAS, said in a video message that the government remained committed to combating corruption.
But the OAS said in a statement the insurmountable hurdle was the Honduran government’s insistence that the mission stop collaborating with a special hand-selected and trained unit within the Attorney General’s Office bringing the public corruption cases.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro considers the end of the commission’s work “a negative event in the fight against corruption and impunity in the country,” the statement said.
The announcement of the resignation of the mission’s interim leader, Ana María Calderón, earlier this week amplified concerns that the body’s days were numbered.
In December, Honduras’ legislature voted to recommend that the commission not continue past its original four-year mandate.
President Juan Orlando Hernández invited the OAS to form the group in 2015 as public demands for his resignation arose from revelations that the country’s social security system had been bilked of millions of dollars.
Composed of international lawyers and investigators, the commission set out to strengthen Honduras’ justice institutions and help them carry out investigations of public corruption. But it never had the clout or resources of a U.N.-sponsored effort in neighboring Guatemala that brought three former presidents to trial. Still, it was building capacity among a select group of Honduran prosecutors and making public officials uncomfortable.
Among its achievements, the commission uncovered networks of legislative and non-profit front organizations that moved public monies back into lawmakers’ pockets.
Honduran lawmakers responded by impeding its investigations and threw up hurdles to prevent the country’s prosecutors from advancing the cases. They also reduced legal sentences for corruption-related crimes and essentially blocked the Attorney General’s Office from investigating improper use of public funds for up to seven years.
On Friday, congress asserted that even a renewal of the commission’s mandate without material changes would require lawmakers’ approval. Others had said it could be done with a simple exchange of letters between the government and OAS.
The U.S. State Department had urged Honduras to renew the commission without changes, but analysts say Hernández may have felt emboldened to drop it as White House priorities in the region shifted to slowing migration.
Honduras signed an asylum cooperation agreement and finalized implementation steps last week that would allow the U.S. to send asylum seekers from other countries to Honduras to apply for protection there. The U.S. was expected to begin shipping asylum seekers to Honduras in the coming weeks.
Omar Rivera, head of the Association for a More Just Society, the Honduran chapter of Transparency International, told local press that the end of the commission was disappointing. “The worst thing we could do is lower our arms in front of delinquents, criminals and the corrupt,” he said.
Adriana Beltran, director of citizen security at the Washington Office on Latin America, an advocacy organization for human rights in Latin America, said the commission was “a critical instrument to combating entrenched corruption and widespread impunity in Honduras, and because of this it enjoyed the support of the population.”
“Its work threatened powerful sectors that sought to undermine its work to protect themselves from being held accountable,” Beltran added.
Hernández already suffered from low approval ratings after overcoming a constitutional ban on re-election and winning in a contest marred by irregularities. Weeks of large street demonstrations against the government re-emerged this summer and in October, his brother Tony Hernández was found guilty of cocaine trafficking in a U.S. federal court.
U.S. prosecutors named the president a co-conspirator in the case. He denies any involvement. His brother is scheduled for sentencing next month.
The announcement comes as hundreds of Hondurans crossed Guatemala and began gathering at the Mexico border. When they left the northern city of San Pedro Sula Wednesday many chanted that Hernández had to go, a common refrain since the first caravans in 2018.
Former President Mel Zelaya, who was removed from office in a 2009 coup, said the government was sending a message that it isn’t interested in fighting corruption. He called for a protest in front of the commission’s offices on Jan. 27.
“It’s a logical demonstration,” Zelaya said. “Because as long as that dictatorship is governing the country, Honduras has no hope of moving forward.”


Over 1,000 Central American Migrants Try to Enter Mexico

More than a thousand Central American migrants on Saturday surged onto a bridge spanning the Suchiate River between southern Mexico and Guatemala as Mexican National Guardsmen attempted to impede their journey north.
Mexican officials allowed several dozen migrants to enter the country via the bridge, while a voice over a loudspeaker warned that migrants may not be granted asylum in the U.S., even if they make it there.
Nearby, hundreds of guardsmen lined the river to prevent migrants from crossing into Mexico clandestinely. The voice on the loudspeaker warned, over and over, that those crossing the river “are entering Mexico illegally.”
Mexico’s government has said migrants entering the country without registering will not be allowed to pass from its southern border area. But those seeking asylum or other protections will be allowed to apply and legalize their status in Mexico.
Guatemalan officials have counted more than 3,000 migrants who registered at border crossings to enter that country in recent days and there were additional migrants who did not register.
The bridge to Mexico was closed on Saturday after being open on the previous day. Migrants who had wanted to cross and request asylum or seek to regularize their status and find work could do so.
But the migrants were wary of a trap. Mexico’s offer of legal status and potential employment carries a stipulation that would confine them to southern Mexico, where wages are lower and there are fewer jobs than elsewhere in the country.
Meanwhile, Guatemala’s human rights defender’s office said there were more than 1,000 migrants gathering at another point on the Mexican border far to the north in the Peten region and there were reports that Mexican forces were gathering on the other side of the border there.
In the Mexican border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, Francisco Garduño, commissioner of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, was emphatic that migrants who try to enter the country irregularly would go no farther.
“They cannot enter because it would be in violation of the law,” he told The Associated Press. He declined to talk specifics about border reinforcements, but said there were “sufficient” troops to keep things orderly.


3 More Linked to Neo-Nazi Group Arrested in Georgia

 Three men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base were charged with conspiring to kill members of a militant anti-fascist group, police in Georgia announced Friday, a day after three other members were arrested on federal charges in Maryland and Delaware.
A senior FBI national security official said police and federal agents intentionally moved to arrest the men ahead of Monday’s rally because they believed some of them intended to commit violence there. It was unknown if the men arrested in Georgia planned to attend the rally in Richmond.
The Base, a collective of hardcore neo-Nazis that operate as a paramilitary organization, has proclaimed war against minority communities within the United States and abroad, the FBI has said. Unlike other extremist groups, it’s not focused on promulgating propaganda – instead the group aims to bring together highly skilled members to train them for acts of violence.
There’s an intensified focus on The Base after the three members were arrested Thursday in Maryland and Delaware on federal felony charges. A criminal complaint included details of how some of the men built an assault rifle using parts, purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition and traded vests that could carry body armor.
“A  big reason why we disrupted it now was based on the timing of the rally on Monday and the intent of some of the individuals to potentially conduct violent acts down in Richmond,” said Jay Tabb, the executive assistant director for national security at the FBI.
Speaking at a homeland security event in Washington, he said the FBI has “got a fair sense of worry” because agents “can’t account for everybody and everything.”
“We have a degree of interest of some individuals that we know are at least saying that they will be there and we have no way to predict where rhetoric turns to violence,” Tabb said.
Organizers of The Base recruit fellow white supremacists online – particularly seeking out veterans because of their military training – use encrypted chat rooms and train members in military-style camps in the woods, according to experts who track extremist groups.
The group, which has the motto “learn, train, fight,” brings together white supremacists with varying ideologies.
The arrests show an intensified focus on the group from law enforcement officials who are concerned that the supremacists may go beyond plotting to violent acts, a threat made more urgent ahead of a pro-gun rally Monday in Richmond, Va.
The arrests only added to rising fears that Monday’s rally  could quickly devolve into violence, with thousands of protesters planning to descend on Virginia’s capital, and become a repeat of the 2017 white nationalist rally  when a man drove his car into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and civil rights activist.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order banning guns from the state Capitol grounds for Monday’s rally, but pro-gun groups filed an appeal seeking to overturn the ban. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the ban Friday.
“These extremists are going to try to attach themselves to these events in order to exploit these strong feelings, to try to bring in new recruits,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
In encrypted chat rooms, members of The Base have discussed committing acts of violence against blacks and Jews, ways to make improvised explosive devices and their desire to create a white “ethno-state,” the FBI has said in court papers.
On Friday, police in Georgia confirmed that the three other men linked to The Base were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and participating in a criminal street gang. Authorities said the men planned to kill a married couple who were anti-fascist protesters – part of the Antifa movement – and believed killing the couple would send a message to enemies of The Base.
The arrests came after an undercover FBI agent infiltrated the group and participated in shooting drills in the mountains of northern Georgia, according to a police affidavit obtained by the AP. The drills were being done in preparation for what they believe is an impending collapse of the United States and ensuing race war. At the end of the firearms training, the Georgia men wore tactical gear and balaclava hoods that expose only part of the face while posing for photos with the undercover agent and the photos were later used in the group’s propaganda, the affidavit says.
The men were identified as Luke Austin Lane, Michael Helterbrand, and Jacob Kaderli. The three remained in custody and it was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.
Lane, Kaderli and the undercover agent drove to the couple’s home in Bartow County to scope it out, according to the affidavit. After checking out the property and the surrounding neighborhood, Lane suggested using a sledgehammer as one way of breaching the door, then kill them with revolvers, according to the affidavit. Kaderli suggested they should burn the house down after the killings, it states.
While other extremist groups are focused on getting people together to produce propaganda and make a name for themselves around a specific ideology, The Base is focused on action, the experts say. They are interested in training their members to use firearms and explosives.
“To have that kind of broad tent, that’s incredibly dangerous,” said Joshua Fisher-Birch, a researcher with the Counter Extremism Project, a policy group formed to combat online extremist ideologies.
Members of The Base also believe in an extreme form of survivalism and preparation, offering real-life survivalist training to resist the “extinction” of the Caucasian race, the FBI has said.
“I think what marks The Base as a particular concern is that it is very blatant about its embrace of accelerationist ideas. This concept that societal collapse is not only imminent, but that they have a role to play in furthering it – so that we can have a race war in this country,” Segal said.
“There are many groups active online that have an on-the-ground presence, but it’s the sub-culture that the base is embracing is so vividly militant,” he said. “It’s so blatantly hateful it’s going to attract a certain type of extremist, one who is looking for action.”
A New Jersey man who authorities say was a recruiter for The Base was arrested by the FBI  in November after he allegedly used the group to find fellow neo-Nazis to vandalize synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin. Authorities said the group’s plan to vandalize synagogues with anti-Semitic graffiti and break windows was part of what the group called “Operation Kristallnacht,” a reference to a 1938 incident when Nazis torched synagogues in Germany, vandalized Jewish homes and business and killed close to 100 people.
The man, Richard Tobin, 18, had also discussed carrying out a suicide bombing and said he had saved manuals about how to carry out an attack, filling the back of a truck with barrels packed with explosive materials similar to the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people in 1995.
Separately on Friday, the Justice Department charged a Wisconsin man who they say was also a member of The Base who spray painted swastikas, the group’s symbol and anti-Semitic words on a synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin in September, at Tobin’s direction. The man, Yousef Barasneh, 22, was arrested on a federal civil rights charge.
Tobin is not specifically named in the charging papers against Barasneh, but the details match those in the criminal complaint that was filed against him in November. Authorities said Tobin and Barasneh were supposed to meet in person at one of the group’s meetups in in Silver Creek, Georgia, from Oct. 30 until Nov. 2. Tobin ultimately didn’t attend.
Prosecutors said recruitment posters for The Base were put up at Marquette University in Milwaukee and the group also held a separate training session for members in Wood County, Wisconsin.
 


Migrants, Troops Slowly Build Up on Guatemala-Mexico Border

TECUN UMAN, GUATEMALA –  More than 200 mostly Honduran migrants rested on a bridge at the Guatemala-Mexico border waiting for the arrival of others and hoping sheer numbers will improve their chances of entering Mexico and continuing their journey north.
Across the river from Tecun Uman, in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, National Guard troops with riot shields trucked in throughout Friday afternoon in anticipation of the migrants’ next move.
Mexico’s government has said migrants entering the country without registering will not be allowed to pass from the border area. But those seeking asylum or other protections will be allowed to apply and legalize their status.
Guatemalan officials had counted more than 3,000 migrants who registered at border crossings to enter that country in recent days and there were additional migrants who did not register.
Sonia Eloina Hernandez, the Ciudad Hidalgo mayor, said officials were expecting a large number of migrants.
“We’re readying ourselves,” she said. “We don’t know exactly how many people are coming.”
About 148 migrants had crossed to Ciudad Hidalgo in recent days and requested asylum, Hernandez said. At least 500 more were spread around Tecun Uman waiting.
As night fell Friday, migrants tried to sleep on the Guatemala side of the bridge, heads propped on knapsacks, children lying on parents. Damp clothes hung from fences. Others killed time playing soccer along the banks of the Suchiate river.
“We have to wait to see what happens,” said Tania Mejia, a 25-year-old mother from Honduras. She had staked out a few square feet on the ground beside a tree at the bridge’s entrance with her 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.
Mejia wanted to be among the first to cross, but was weighing that desire against the safety of her children and thinking she might hang back to see how things develop.
Her memories are still fresh of the first two migrant caravans she traveled with alone, one at the end of 2018 and another in the spring of 2019. She knew things could escalate if security forces tried to stop the migrants from entering Mexico.
“They say the Mexicans aren’t going to allow passage, but who knows?” she said.
If necessary, Mejia said, she might have to wade across the river like she did one of the previous times. Her hope this time is not making it to the United States, but rather to northern Mexico.
“I have a person in Mexicali who can give me a job so I went to get there,” she said.
The bridge was not closed by Mexico on Friday. Migrants who wanted to cross and request asylum or seek to regularize their status and find work could do so.
But the migrants were wary of a trap. Mexico’s offer of legal status and potential employment carries a stipulation that would confine them to southern Mexico, where wages are lower and there are fewer jobs than elsewhere in the country.

Hernandez, the mayor, said it is different now in Mexico from 2018 and early 2019, when mass caravans flowed across the border. She said the Mexican government from the municipal to the federal level is coordinated and prepared.
She expected more guardsmen to arrive in Ciudad Hidalgo “so the people don’t cross via the river, so that he who wants to enter Mexico, as our president says, ‘Welcome,’ but via the bridge.”
In Guatemala’s capital, Mauro Verzzeletti, director of the local migrant shelter, said he expected 1,000 to 1,500 people to bed down there Friday night. The migrants planned to set out again Saturday around 4 a.m.
Meanwhile, Guatemala’s human rights defender’s office said there were a bit more than 1,000 migrants gathering at another point on the Mexican border far to the north in the Peten region and there were reports that Mexican forces were gathering on the other side of the border there.
In Ciudad Hidalgo, Francisco Garduno, commissioner of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, was emphatic that migrants who try to enter the country irregularly would go no farther.
“They cannot enter because it would be in violation of the law,” he told The Associated Press. He declined to talk in specifics about border reinforcements, but said there were “sufficient” troops to keep things orderly.
 


Thousands of Women to Gather for Fourth Annual Women’s March

Thousands of women are planning to march in cities across the United States Saturday for the fourth annual Women’s March to advocate for a host of issues, including gender equality and women’s human rights.
Rallies are planned in dozens of cities, including Washington, where the first Women’s March in 2017 drew hundreds of thousands of people the day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office.
The march has included a political message since it began three years ago when many protesters wore the knitted pink hats that have become a symbol of women’s anti-Trump sentiments.
Politics continued to be a strong theme at the Women’s March in all subsequent years, including in 2018 when the organizers moved the march to Nevada, a battleground state for the midterm elections that year, as well as in 2019 when the march returned to Washington and heralded the record 102 women who had been recently elected to the House of Representatives.
Several of the Democratic candidates for president in 2020 are planning to attend Women’s March events across the country this year. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will attend the Women’s March in Reno, Nevada, while former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is planning to be at a rally in South Carolina. Senator Michael Bennet and businessman Andrew Yang will attend Women’s March events in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively.
Since its first march, the Women’s March has faced controversy, including its leaders facing accusations of anti-Semitism. The organizers have repeatedly denied the claims. Three of the four original co-chairs of the organization have left the group, and the organization has appointed a new board that includes three Jewish women.
Current co-president of the Women’s March, Isa Noyola, noted in a statement ahead of this year’s march that it will be the last march before the 2020 election.“
In 2020, we have a chance to finish what we started three years ago and remove Trump from office,” she said.