By Kaylin Tran
On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, actor Shia LaBeouf’s began an art installation that commenced a protest against Donald Trump’s presidency.
Although it was intended to exist for the duration of Trump’s presidency, it was shut down on Feb. 10.
The project, #HEWILLNOTDIVIDEUS, appeared at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. It was intended to “create a forum for conversation about a very fractured moment that we’re experiencing,” stated digital media curator Jason Epping.
The art installation consisted of a bare white wall, with nothing other than the words “He will not divide us” in bolded black letters, and a camera to livestream participants who were encouraged to chant those words.
LaBeouf explained on his website, Hewillnotdivideus.us, that the mantra “acts as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community.”
According to CBS, the museum decided to end the protest because it became a “a serious […] public safety hazard.”
“Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” reported Vulture,a website dedicated to film and television.
On Jan. 25, LaBeouf was arrested for allegedly assaulting a man who stated that “Hitler did nothing wrong,” according to CNN.
LaBeouf was charged with misdemeanor assault and a harassment violation. In the same week, LaBeouf and an unknown white supremacist were involved in a a heated verbal fight after the man walked back and forth, occasionally going up to the camera to say things such as “we must secure the existence of white people.”
Although many protesters showed their support by chanting the mantra into the livestream camera, with one woman holding up a hand with a heart drawn on the middle of her palm, others were quick to show their distaste in Shia’s use of force.
One person, @timmybranmuffin, tweeted, “Does anyone else see the irony of liberals saying #HeWillNotDivideUs as a camera catches them dividing us in real time?”
Since being shut down by the museum, the video features the words “The museum has abandoned us.”