SlutWalk Chicago will allow marchers carrying Jewish or Zionist symbols after saying earlier they would be banned.
The group, part of an international movement that protests rape culture, in its ban announced this month referred to a decision by the Chicago Dyke March to ask three women carrying rainbow flags featuring white Stars of David to leave.
But a SlutWalk Chicago organizer told Haaretz on Sunday that the group would welcome all participants at the Aug. 12 march who wish to protest sexual violence and the attitudes of shame and blame that surround it. The organizer, identified as Red, also said the collective needs to make amends to the Jewish community for past actions.
“We are not banning any symbols or any kind of ethnic or heritage flags,” Red told Haaretz following a meeting of organizers to hone their message. “Those are welcome, everyone is welcome to express themselves as they see fit at SlutWalk. And we encourage people to bring signs and symbols that represent fighting sexism, patriarchy, rape culture, and that takes a lot of different forms for different people, and we support them in how they decide to show up for SlutWalk.”
Since a series of tweets reportedly made by the group’s social media team without consulting with the collective, SlutWalk has reached out to the Jewish and Muslim communities in Chicago to show that the event is inclusive and offers a safe space to all participants, Red told Haaretz.
Red said people carrying Israeli flags would not be banned.
“As a feminist person myself, I feel very strongly about Palestinian liberation and radical Jewish resistance,” Red told Haaretz. “I care very deeply about those concerns, but I do think that at SlutWalk Chicago we have some apologizing to do around the confusion with some of our tweets.”
Organizers of the Chicago Dyke March in June told the three women carrying Jewish Pride flags who were asked to leave that the rainbow flags with a white Star of David would be a “trigger,” or traumatic stimulus, for those who found them offensive.
Jewish groups have denounced the banning of the Jewish Pride flags at the lesbian march and called for an apology.
We still stand behind @DykeMarchChi's decision to remove the Zionist contingent from their event, & we won't allow Zionist displays at ours
— SlutWalk Chicago