Florida couple who staged anti-mask protest in Target get married

EXCLUSIVE: Couple who started dating after ‘screaming’ at anti-mask protest at Target in South Florida during lockdown get married two years later

  • Chris and Nicole Nelson met during anti-lockdown protests in Florida in 2020
  • That September, they walked down a Target blasting ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’
  • The two jumped up and down and cheered while urging patrons to, ‘Take it off!’ 
  • The small protest went viral, drawing condemnation from Twisted Sisters frontman Dee Snider himself during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • They started dating around that time and got married on a yacht on Sunday

A Florida couple who met during anti-lockdown protests in 2020 and were filmed jumping and screaming inside a Target while protesting mask mandates is now married.

Chris and Nicole Nelson entered their wedding reception to the Twisted Sisters song ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It.’

In September 2020, the unmasked pair walked down a Target aisle in Fort Lauderdale while blasting the 1984 metal song. They jumped up and down and cheered as Nicole urged customers to, ‘Take it off!’

The video was widely shared and mocked at the time, as the US averaged 39,960 cases and 763 deaths a day. It even drew condemnation from the band’s lead singer Dee Snider, who called it ‘moronic.’

The couple met a few weeks before at a rally organized by Chris, 39, calling for businesses to reopen. They started dating soon after.

The Nelsons married on Sunday in a seaside ceremony attended by far-right activist Laura Loomer.

In an interview with DailyMail.com, Chris called it ‘ironic’ that the lockdowns and restrictions he spent so much time protesting led to him meeting his ‘eloquent and beautiful’ wife.

Chris and Nicole Nelson jumped up and down and cheered during a small anti-mask protest inside a Target store in South Florida in September 2020

The couple, who met a couple weeks earlier at an anti-lockdown protest organized by Chris, were married on Sunday aboard a yacht 

Chris, 39, and Nicole, 44, first saw each other on July 4, 2020 at a protest against the closure of Fort Lauderdale Beach organized by Chris. 

He was recently divorced, but quickly took an interest in the ‘gorgeous blonde with long legs holding a sign against Fauci.

‘She gets up and gives us this amazing speech about how we don’t want to have the government ruining our lives.

‘She was so eloquent and so beautiful and I saw her there and I said, “Wow, this is quite an amazing woman,'” Chris says. 

They officially met on August 15, after Chris, who is in the entertainment industry, staged a march in the South Florida city calling for businesses to reopen.

‘We were both being affected financially,’ Nicole says. ‘South Florida was in a whole different situation than North Florida. We had curfews, we had restaurants only open to 25 percent capacity, there were mask mandates for everyone here.’

Nicole runs a tanning business in South Florida that has been patronized by celebrities, according to local news reports. 

Makeup artists, hairstylists and musicians were suddenly out of work as the pandemic drew events to a halt.

‘People are starving and the government was not helping people,’ she says. ‘A lot of people didn’t qualify for business loans so I went to it and I was protesting.’ 

They then drove up to Tallahassee to protest pandemic restrictions outside the mansion of Gov. Ron DeSantis in Tallahassee. 

‘We really fell in love at the governor’s mansion,’ Nicole tells DailyMail.com, adding that they took the eight-hour road trip back to South Florida together.

Their wedding was attended by far-right activist and journalist Laura Loomer, who has been banned from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, PayPal, Venmo, GoFundMe, Uber and Lyft for spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric

Nicole, 44, runs a tanning business in Florida that has catered to celebs like Iggy Azalea and Gigi Hadid. She says she and Chris fell in love during an anti-lockdown protest at the mansion of Gov. Ron DeSantis

Anyone who protests in front of a private residence in Florida can now face jail time and fines under a bill Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Monday 

Chris is opposed to Gov. DeSantis’ recent law that bans demonstrating at a private residence. The law, signed on Monday, was passed as pro-choice activists swarm the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices after a leaked Supreme Court decision confirmed the end of Roe v. Wade.

The infamous Target protest took place on September 15, 2020, two weeks after the couple’s trip to the governor’s mansion.

At the time, the US was averaging 39,960 cases and 763 deaths a day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. In Florida alone, there was an average of 2,697 cases and 118 deaths per day.

Video shows Nicole, who says she has a medical condition that prevents her from using a mask, wearing a black tank top and shorts while walking down the aisle yelling, ‘Yeah! Take it off!’ 

Chris appears in a red T-shirt, holding up a speaker playing the Twisted Sisters song ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It.’

Chris and Nicole blasted the Twisted Sisters song ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ during their Target protest on September 15, 2020

Video shows Nicole wearing a black tank top and shorts while walking down the aisle yelling, ‘Yeah! Take it off!’ At the time, Florida was experiencing an average of 2,697 cases and 118 deaths a day

Dee Snider from the Twisted Sisters scolded the pair for using his band’s song

The enthusiastic pair walk around the store with a handful of other people, including children.

‘Look at these kids! Let them be your example!’ Nicole shouted. 

A person behind the camera who was not part of the protest sneered: ‘F****** idiots.’

The video went viral.

A Target spokeswoman told USA Today that they were asked to leave ‘after they removed their masks and became disruptive and rude to other shoppers.’

Dee Snider, who fronted the heavy metal band whose song was used in the protest, scolded them on Twitter.

‘No … these selfish a******s do not have my permission or blessing to use my song for their moronic cause,’ the singer said.

‘That made the thing even bigger,’ Chris says. 

He and Nicole were soon official.

‘To have somebody that has the same values as you. To have someone who is intelligent and who understood it was about government overreach and tyranny,’ Nicole says of her new husband.

‘I’m grateful for 2020 and I’m grateful for what happened in 2020,’ Chris, 39, told DailyMail.com. ‘I met my partner. I met my soulmate’

‘I finally connected with someone who understands that this was more about tyranny and communism than it was about germs.’

They were married atop a yacht on Sunday.

The joyous couple held hands as they walked out to cheers and camera flashes from their guests.

The wedding was attended by far-right activist and journalist Laura Loomer, who has been banned from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, PayPal, Venmo, GoFundMe, Uber and Lyft for spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric, according to the Palm Beach Post.

‘Chris and Nicole have the cutest love story,’ Loomer, 28, said in a post to her followers on the encrypted messaging app Telegram and shared by the Twitter account Patriot Takes.

The self-described ‘proud Islamophobe’ met Chris while she was running for Congress in South Florida. She won the primary but lost the general election in the heavily-Democratic 21st district.

Chris says he and his wife are mostly done with protests at this point.

‘We got what we wanted. We got things open and, actually, it was after many of our demonstrations that Gov. DeSantis took action.’

He says   

In the end, Chris and Nicole’s shared despise of mask mandates, lockdowns, curfews and closures led to their wedding day on Sunday.  

‘I’m grateful for 2020 and I’m grateful for what happened in 2020,’ Chris told DailyMail.com. ‘I met my partner. I met my soulmate.’

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