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Pence, Nielsen greeted by ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ protest in New York City

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A group of protesters dressed in red robes mimicking “The Handmaid’s Tale” gathered in New York City on Tuesday to greet Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The two Trump administration officials were in New York for a Homeland Security cybersecurity summit at the Alexander Hamilton Customs House.

The protest was organized by Refuse Fascism, the same left-wing activist group that mobilized about 100 women to protest Pence’s visit to Philadelphia last month. About 100 people participated in Tuesday’s event, according to AM New York.

Samantha Goldman, one of the organizers, told Refinery29 that the Trump administration is promoting “fascism” with President Trump’s attacks on the media, immigration policies like “zero tolerance” and the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, rolling back environmental regulations, and appointing hardline conservative judges to the courts.

“[The Trump-Pence administration] is a regime that’s shredding the rule of law and seeking to radically remake society, transforming the way this country is governed,” Goldman said. “Fascism relies upon and foments xenophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy. You see the heart of the Christian fascist movement in this regime.”


Dressing as handmaids from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel and the subsequent hit Hulu television series has become a popular form of protest among activists calling for women’s reproductive rights.

The book and show take place in the Republic of Gilead, a dystopian nation that has overtaken the U.S., in which women have been stripped of reproductive autonomy.

Critics of the Trump administration have drawn comparisons between Atwood’s fictional regime and the administration’s rhetoric on abortion, LGBTQ rights and religious freedom.

Atwood said earlier this year that the U.S. was becoming more “Gilead-like” under Trump.

“We’re here today because Mike Pence is bringing a real Handmaid’s Tale to America,” one organizer said during the protest, according to Refinery29. “He’s a Christian fascist. He’s a theocrat. This couldn’t be more fitting.”

Tags Kirstjen Nielsen Mike Pence
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