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Women's March kicks off again this weekend

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Protesters march down Pennsylvania avenue during the Women's March on Washington January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. The march is expected to draw thousands from across the country to protest newly inaugurated President Donald Trump. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Aaron P. Bernstein, Getty Images

The "Women's March" returns to Washington, D.C. and other cities this weekend, although it's uncertain if organizers can get the same massive crowds they did last year.

Some 500,000 people marched in last year's demonstration, which came the day after President Trump was inaugurated. The crowd was thought to dwarf the one that came out to see Mr. Trump take office, with thousands of women wearing pink embroidered "pussyhats" to protest the remarks President Trump had made about women on the "Access Hollywood" tape.

This year's demonstration in Washington promises to be a smaller affair, with organizers only having a permit for 5,500 protesters on Saturday. Still, it will be attracting some big names in Democratic politics, including Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, the party's 2016 vice presidential nominee, and California Sen. Kamala Harris, a potential candidate for the presidency in 2020. Organizers hope the event will inspire people to work for "meaningful change."

Other protests affiliated with the Women's March will be taking place around the country over the weekend. In New York City, 85,000 have registered for the event, according to The New York Times. Another large event, dubbed "Power to the Polls," is expected at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, where numerous progressive groups will team up with celebrity speakers like Marisa Tomei.

"Last year was about women standing together and realizing that they're not alone," an organizer of the New York march told the Times. "The message this year is marching to action: March, register, vote. You're marching, making sure you're registered to vote, and getting to the polls."

Organizers also say they are trying to make the march more inclusive, particularly with regard to women of color and trans-women. As part of that effort, fewer women are expected to wear pussyhats, which were criticized for their insensitivity to people who identify as women but do not have female genitalia. The pussyhats were also criticized for their pink coloring, which some felt was a reference to skin pigmentation.

"There are people who believe that because not only is it a pink p***y, which can mean only white women, that it could be a race and a gender thing," Lillianna Angel Reyes, an activist due to speak at a Women's March in Lansing, Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press. "For me, it doesn't read that way."

Tamika Mallory, a co-president of the Women's March board, told USA Today that organizers were still working to diversify their movement.

"We're looking at all the communities that we seek to engage and work with, and we're trying to figure out how to deepen those relationships and ensure all the stakeholders are at the table," she said.

The Washington, D.C. march will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday by the Lincoln Memorial.