See How New Yorkers Took On Trump This Halloween

The Village Halloween Parade has always been a haven for rebellion. When it started in 1974, it was just a collection of puppeteers, wandering the neighborhood. Now, it's a massive cultural event — the city honored the parade in 1994 for its cultural impact. Every year, New Yorkers swarm the Village, coating the neighborhood in a layer of defiance. As the home to the Stonewall Inn, the Village is already an emblem of bohemian resistance. Add Halloween to that, and the night is raucous. Then, add in the fact that it's 2017, the year during which all our personal freedoms were suddenly in jeopardy. It's a potent recipe for a Halloween evening.

For a year that's been dominated by Donald Trump, there were surprisingly few imitators at this year's parade. In 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton masks were a popular Halloween costume. This year, there was nary a Clinton mask to be seen, and those who dressed as Donald Trump opted for costumes with more of an angle, like the naked Donald Trumps who marched near the front of the parade. Spectators didn't seem to want to see Trump, either. (Who would?) Those who looked too much like the president earned boos from the crowd.

The outfits that made statements were the winners. A man dressed as a Donald Trump tweet had to keep stopping for photographs. Another dressed as Fake News seemed perturbed that everyone was so fascinated by his costume. Not everyone came in a political costume — many went for plain zombies, or Game of Thrones gear — but the political costumes garnered the most attention. Maybe it's a metaphor for our societal attention span.

Ahead, see the most powerful ways New Yorkers took on Donald Trump and the current administration at this year's Village Halloween Parade.

Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Walter Masterson, 72, wanted to be the American eagle. But, he could only find a leather mask.

"It does look sort of demonic, but that wasn't intentional," he said. "I'm actually very proud of America, and I love the idea of the eagle as a symbol. That's all."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
A cart affixed with anti-Trump buttons wound its way through spectators.
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Ed, 57 and Andrea Gilbert, 47, built their costumes around their signs. A combination of factors — the weather, Paul Manafort's indictment — gave them inspiration for gilded-era Trump supporters.

"We're politocrats!" Ed said.

"We're kind of gilded age plus the Hamburglar thing, but it kind of got too cold...We thought the signs would speak for themselves," Andrea added.

They're also not usually this political. Ed explained, "We've been waiting to use this one for a while. Usually, we're, like, zombies."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
"Trump's a very recognized figure, but his Twitter is even more recognized. That's where the spark of inspiration came," Jay Marson, 35, noted. He always goes for a creative costume. One year, he notes, he was a photobomber.
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
"We're all supposed to be Donald Trump as the naked emperor," said Tom Gilroy, one of the leaders of Rise and Resist. This is the fifth time the group wore this costume — they usually put on their naked Emperor outfits to protest Donald Trump himself. They recently marched around Le Cirque when Donald Trump arrived for a fundraising event in September. The group also had faux bodyguards and a couple of "protesters" along for the ride.

Gilroy continued, "People need to stop pretending that he is presidential, smart, conscious, nice, has America at heat, or cares about anything other than himself."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Jamie Baer, another active member of Rise and Resist, has been there since the beginning. They explained, "We originated it when Trump came to town to town to speak at the general assembly, because we just thought: How can this man present himself to the general assembly of the United Nations as if he is the President of the United States. And everyone bows and scrapes, but we were like, 'The guy is so unethical.'"
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
"It's a costume called fake news," Malcolm, who declined to give his age, explains. He doesn't usually dress up for Halloween. But this year, he decided to don a costume, in his words, "Because it's fake news."

The newspaper section attached to his waist is the New York Times style section.
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Marni Halasa, 51, is part of a protest group called Revolution Is Sexy. She's also a theatrical political protester, and she's currently a candidate for City Council, district 3.

"We're doing this good-and-evil thing, good against evil," she explained. "I'm an angel, and I'm a warrior princess. And Trump is pure evil. We've done similar things for the Mermaid parade, really to give New Yorkers a sense of relief because people are so upset about our president."

She adds, "People really appreciate and thank us for it." (Elliot Crown, also a theatrical protester, plays her Trump.)
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Mari Gustafson's costume is a part of a protest group called Gays Against Guns. "Right now, we're working on the fact that the Center for Disease Control isn't putting any money towards studying gun violence," Gustafson, 48, said. "We believe that gun violence is an epidemic. It's a virus. It's spreading all across America, and it's getting worse and worse."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Miguel, 36, got his costume idea from an article about pharmaceutical company Purdue pharma. He's blood money.

"[Blood money] is whenever you make money, and it costs someone their life, or their health," he says. "I was reading in the New Yorker, there was this piece about the family behind Purdue pharma. Like that. You have this family who knows the dangers of OxyContin, and sells it anyway, and decides to maximize profit as much as possible, regardless of the cost."

Miguel added, "I'm thinking about El Chapo, the famous Mexican drug lord. He doesn't even come close to these guys! And these guys [Purdue pharma], they've actually stimulated this heroin boom in Mexico. I'm thinking about petroleum, and I'm thinking about war-mongering... It's this side of capitalism that makes money at the expense of Latins."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Marcus K. Garcia, 49, updated a familiar classic costume by adding the faces of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. It's meant to symbolize Putin riding on Trump's back, like a cowboy rides a horse.

Why is Garcia making a political statement with his costume?

"We need to," he said. "Because the Russians influenced our election."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
"I always try to come up a costume that relates to what's happening in the current moment," says Bill Petasnick, 67. Last year, he wore a Donald Trump mask and carried a collection of clown ties. He wore a sign that instructed, "Pin a tie on the head of a jackass."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Ross Millhiser, 36, is a zombie Uncle Sam. He didn't mean to be overtly political but, "it's fitting well," he says.

He clarifies, "I try to stay as neutral as possible. I like America. I have nothing against it. I just think it's a political nightmare, so it's fitting to be a dead Uncle Sam."
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Ryan Gorman, 36, was greeted by boos from the spectators.

"Are you dressed as a dead Donald Trump?" I asked.

"Isn't he already? Politically, of course," he added. Gorman always opts for a political costume.
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
Melvyn Stevens, 80, is also a part of Rise and Resist. Instead of Trump, though, he opted to dress as Stephen Miller, Donald Trump's senior advisor for policy.

"There's not much to say about this guy," he said. "You just look at him and you know there's something wrong with him."

The politics are all a part of Rise and Resist, he says. Last year, Stevens and his spouse both dressed up as Julia Child.
Photographed by Dolly Faibyshev.
This Trump had the head of a pig, and wore a police officer's uniform. His hat reads: "Trump Make America Fucked Up Again." Stickers on his knees read: "This nightmare must end."
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