Siemionko said Sarsour was insistent that Okeyo's group needed to be involved in planning the city's march.
In Washington, demonstrators arriving by vehicle, bus or subway converged on the city's Freedom Plaza and marched defiantly past the nearby Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Marches were organized across the world on Saturday in solidarity with those marching in Washington, D.C. The movement started in the US following President Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017. (Becky Harlan/NPR) Bryana Moore, Veronika Funke, Nancy Haugh, students at James Madison University (JMU), and Katie Lese, a lecturer at JMU, traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Women's March. Others decried his comments about women or minority groups, while many demanded his impeachment.
Activists have said the marches will aim to celebrate the successes for women this year, including the fact that more women were elected to USA congress in the most recent elections than at any time in history.
Setting all that aside, thousands still came out to this year's march in DC, and sister marches across the U.S., and the world. "Look at what he's done at the border, look at the shutdown-every year there is a new atrocity". It's time to gather together and end violence against women in Canada. Many wore pink "pussy hats" as a symbol of strength.
Activists are also motivated by the fight over the Trump administration's policy-since suspended-of separating undocumented parents from children at the border with Mexico.
And they are up in arms about statements by the Republican president - accused by several women of sexual misconduct - that they see as sexist or racist. 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.
For her part, Ann Caroline called the controversy "heartbreaking", but added that to march for women's rights "doesn't mean that I align myself with the founders' values". The accusation was leveled at two primary leaders: Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American who has criticized Israeli policy, and Tamika Mallory, who has maintained an association with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
In contrast to the 2017 march, which drew more than three million nationwide, and last year's event, when hundreds of thousands rallied, Washington police said they expected perhaps 20,000 demonstrators this year. In a Facebook post, she claimed Sarsour and Mallory, along with fellow organizers Bob Bland and Carmen Perez, had "steered the Movement away from its true course" and called for all four to step down.
The criticism dates back months but got additional attention after Mallory appeared Monday on ABC's "The View" and, while disavowing Farrakhan's language, wouldn't condemn him when confronted by hosts Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin.
Talks between organizers aimed at linking the groups in NY didn't go anywhere, the reasons varying between overstepping and indifference depending on who's asked.
But on Saturday, they are marching separately, and March On says it will not participate in the Washington rally.