But with the forecast calling for snow and freezing rain and the National Park Service no longer plowing the snow, organizers changed the march's location and route to start at Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House, and head down Pennsylvania Avenue past the Trump International Hotel.
In some cities, like NY and Washington, there was more than one march or demonstration due to criticism that some Women's March leaders are anti-Semitic - a charge those leaders have sought to dispel in recent interviews and statements.
More than half of the roughly 500 partner organizations that supported the nationwide Women's March demonstration last year have abandoned the organization ahead of this year's protests, which will take place Saturday in Washington, D.C. and other cities across the country.
In January 2018, the two groups marched side by side at events in NY and Los Angeles. "We just finally decided it's time - it's time to come here and march", Lopez said.
Mallory has since said she does not agree with all of Farrakhan's statements but refused to condemn him. But marchers still flocked to Washington, New York and elsewhere - with some of the events affiliated with Women's March Inc. and others not. (Amr Alfiky/NPR) (Tyrone Turner/WAMU) (Tyrone Turner/WAMU) (Tyrone Turner/WAMU) The Batala Washington all-women Afro-Brazilian band.
Teresa Shook, who founded the march, has called for the co-chairs to resign because they have "allowed antisemitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs".
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In an interview with The Associated Press, Sarsour acknowledged "valid criticism" that the organization had been "delayed in our unequivocal response in denouncing anti-Semitism". "Get out of the way and we'll clean up the mess", Sullivan said. But the movement has been riven by controversy, including allegations of anti-Semitism and poor accounting of funds, and weakened, no doubt, by a general sense of political exhaustion.
Katherine Siemionko, the white, former Goldman Sachs vice-president who leads the Women's March Alliance, told the AP that the charges of anti-Semitism were "just an additional on top of all the behaviour, on top of the ego" while not the main issue dividing the women's march events in NY.
Sarsour said she reached out to Siemionko to see if her group and Okeyo's group could work together.
Last year, many women were galvanized by the confirmation of conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, despite allegations that he committed sexual assault as a teen.
The two women differ on what happened next. Parallel marches will be held in dozens of US cities.
Jessica González-Rojas, executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, described the agenda as a policy tool that organizers in different cities can use to take on issues that matter to their communities.
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"If you wanted to be a coalition, you would never host a counter-event", Siemionko said.
"I am not a threatening person". But the message this year has been muddled by controversy among the leaders of the march.
Gillibrand said that the national Women's March in 2017 was "the most inspiring moment of my political life".
"The leadership has not assuaged our most serious concerns", she said.
Women's March Inc. leaders have "apologized for the harm that they have caused and we are taking those apologies and the actions they have taken to include Jews ... seriously", Vilkomerson said.
The Women's March is set to take place again today in cities across Canada, as well as around the world.
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