Dozens of protesters wearing attire inspired by the Hulu drama “The Handmaid’s Tale” united in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday to show Vice President Mike Pence they will not allow Gilead, the hit show’s dystopian world, to become a reality.
“Mike Pence is bringing the real-life ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ to America,” said Emma Kaplan of Refuse Fascism, the activist group that organized the demonstration.
Red-clad protesters convened outside the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in Bowling Green, where Pence was attending the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Summit with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and others.
Among those protesting Pence’s visit that donned the red cape and white bonnet of a handmaid was Therese Patricia Okoumou, the woman who was arrested for climbing the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July to protest ICE.
“I want the world to know I was an activist before July 4th, and I am doing naturally what we should do,” Okoumou told Metro. “I feel very empowered. Shame on Nielsen and Pence for supporting this cruel and inhumane administration.”
Sarah Bardin, a protester from Manhattan, hoped the “Handmaid’s Tale”-inspired demonstration, which included a silent and solemn procession across Bowling Green, “draws attention to family separation, especially those children yet to be reunited with their families, a lot of them are in New York City.”
To take that further, once the “handmaids” reached the front of the Custom House, now home to the National Museum of the American Indian, they placed children’s shoes before them to raise awareness for the more than 2,000 immigrant children who have been separated from their families at the southern border.
The protesters then ceremoniously tore their cloaks and garb off and tossed them near the shoes before shouting, “The Trump version of Gilead is not a world we’re going to accept.”