Millions of people around the world were inspired and motivated leading up to, and following, the Women’s March, a massive protest that took place the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated last year. And while many women and their allies feel at home with Women’s March Inc., the trademarked group behind the Women’s March brand, not everyone who marched on January 21, 2017 feels like the Women’s March is going in all the right directions.
March On, which calls itself a “marchroots” movement and has a Super PAC (called the Fight Back PAC), is a splinter group of the Women’s March that has some very similar goals to the original group, but a slightly different approach to activism.
Much of March On, which was launched in October 2017, looks similar to the Women’s March. This makes sense, given that March On was formed by organizers who were instrumental in the many sister marches that took place across the country last year.
Like the Women’s March, March On is women-led, but is welcome to all. Both groups have plans to mobilize people to vote this year; both want to support progressive candidates, and both are hosting events across the US this coming weekend for the 2018 Women’s March. But March On leaders say that it was necessary to form a separate group because the goals of the Women’s March, which is based in New York, don’t necessarily align with the needs and goals of southern states and smaller towns. Further, March On wants to pour funds into electing better candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.
According to the March On website, the group plans to utilize “The millions of us who marched and a huge war chest we can fund ourselves” to “create change, from better laws to better lawmakers.” The specific goals of the group have not yet been laid out for 2018, but the website indicates that March On will open a poll on Saturday, January 20, that people can respond to and help guide March On’s specific priorities.
Andi Pringle, who is executive director of the Fight Back PAC, tells Brit + Co that March On differs from the Women’s March primarily in terms of top-level priorities. “The Women’s March has been mostly organized around social justice issues,” Pringle says, explaining that March On wants to “give everyone voice to be able to say what issues are important to them.”
March On will use the upcoming poll, called “Operation Marching Orders,” to engage organizers and activists, and to learn which issues are most important to women on local and state levels, Pringle says. While March On is non-partisan and has heavy representation in red states, Pringle says that she expects much of March On and the PAC’s goals will be related to progressive candidates and causes. She adds that all of the specific issues and candidates that March On will prioritize will become clear after the results of the poll are in.
The Super PAC is another way in which March On diverges from the mission of the Women’s March. March On “is more of an electoral engagement process to ensure that the best candidates are supported at the national and state levels,” Pringle tells us. The PAC will provide financial support to candidates who are identified as good fits for the areas where March On is organized.
Though March On is still defining the particular issues and people it will support, the group seems to be positioning itself as the money behind many of the principles of the Women’s March. March On will also engage local activists and organizers, but will steer their troops to the ballot box instead of organizing marches and protests.
Will you be participating in Women’s March anniversary events this weekend? Tell us on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty)