Political protest can come in many forms. The vanilla variety usually involves an organized march with placards, chants, and some semblance of purpose. More recent political protests (Women’s March or Shut Down DC Disrupt J20 come to mind) devolved from ‘peaceful’ marching into wanton destruction of property, physical assaults, and generally unsavory public conduct – all in the name of unity and equality, of course.
Fortunately, other protesters and political dissenters have taken a more peaceful approach to expressing their discontent with the status quo. Shia LaBeouf, is one of those that has opted for artistic expression as opposed to assault and battery. Well he was, but we’ll get to that shortly
LaBeouf, a very passionate – some would say fanatical – opponent to the new Trump administration, posted himself outside the venerable Museum of the Moving Image.
Using a video camera, he then began to live stream his dissent from Queens for the world to see. He even invited passers-by to participate in his live stream, assuming that they recited the words “he will not divide us”. Presumably he meant Trump.
All was going well, by peaceful performance art standards anyway, until sometime late on the 25th of January. For reasons as yet unrevealed, a verbal scrum broke out between opposing groups and then Shia LaBeouf lost it.
Reports indicated that his art turned into alleged misdemeanor assault when he lashed out physically at a dissenter and inflicted a small scratch to the face.
LaBeouf was taken into custody shortly after the alleged assault and booked on misdemeanor charges. This was not LaBeouf’s first rodeo, or go around with the law for that matter.
But, who is keeping tally when protest performance art is at stake! LaBeouf was released some short time later, reportedly fist pumping as he drove away from the station and yelling, “He will not divide us!”
Hmmmm…it appears that the “he”, who dare not be named, has already caused some division. In Labeouf’s case, perhaps a division of sound mind from body?
The final take-away from this sad tale of protest art gone wrong is that if one professes tolerance and unity, then by all means, practice it!