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People watched disturbing scenes unfold in Washington DC's Capitol building last night, as Donald Trump supporters attempted a coup by bursting in just as lawmakers were meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's win.
As the congressional session was forced to be suspended, and members were escorted from the building, windows were smashed and violence ensued as demonstrators stormed past police and burst inside on Wednesday night, in what Biden described as an "insurrection".
And looking on in horror at scenes from the US, multiple people compared the dramatic scenes to the storming of Gilead at the start of The Handmaid's Tale, making an eerie comparison to the dystopian novel and TV series.
Sharing a picture of the temporarily occupied Capitol building, swarming with Trump supporters and shrouded in smoke, one Twitter user wrote: "I keep thinking about how this is exactly how Gilead began in the handmaid's tale".
Meanwhile, another penned: "I mean, this is how Gilead was established."
A third concurred: "I was 19 when I read the Handmaid's Tale - at the time I thought @MargaretAtwood's imagination was a bit over the top.
"Watching the descent of democracy in the US over the past 35 years has been tragic. Gilead is what happens when people will do anything to maintain power."
Mocking the rioters with a quote from the Margaret Atwood franchise, another Twitter user wrote: "I would like to be the first to congratulate the Republic of Gilead for it's formation. Blessed be the fruit!"
In Atwood's chilling world, Gilead - or 'The Divine Republic', as it was known by its leaders - abolished America's federal system and instigated its patriarchal rule across one republic, with a centralised leadership commanding over everyone.
The Divine Republic then replaced U.S. Constitution and democracy was overthrown in favour of a dark new world, in which women were second class citizens, and civil rights no longer existed.
In The Handmaid's Tale, we saw how D.C. was the first to areas "fall" to Gilead's power, after attacks on the White House, Congress and The Supreme Court.
Last night, rioters were seen bursting into the House Gallery and the House Chamber as well as private offices, while people inside hid and took shelter from the scenes.
As they burst into the Capitol Rotunda, tear gas was used and individuals in the room were told to duck under chairs and wear face masks to protect themselves.
Police have now said that four people died in the raucous scenes. One of these deaths was believed to be a rioter while the other three were "medical emergencies".
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