He Will Not Divide Us

He Will Not Divide Us

Part of a series on Shia LaBeouf. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 04, 2023 at 04:26PM EDT by Don.

Added Jan 23, 2017 at 12:22PM EST by Don.

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About

He Will Not Divide Us (HWNDU) is an anti-Trump online performance art project by actor Shia Labeouf and artists Luke Turner and Nastja Rönkkö, featuring a 24-hour livestream held in a variety of locations. While initially launched outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York with a planned broadcast for the duration of Donald Trump's first term as president of the United States, the stream was moved several times after being disrupted by trolls from 4chan's /pol/ board and other online communities.

Origin

On January 20th, 2017, LaBeouf launched the livestream during the inauguration of Donald Trump.[1] According to Indiewire, hundreds of people showed up to the livestream location the first day, including actor Jaden Smith.[4]

"Open to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the participatory performance will be live-streamed continuously for four years, or the duration of the presidency. In this way, the mantra "HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US" acts as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community."

Spread

That day, Twitter user @daisyrdley[2] tweeted photos LaBeouf and Jaden Smith at the livestream location, garnering upwards of 124,150 likes and 61,800 retweets within 72 hours (shown below).


laura @daisyrdley Follow Shia LaBeouf started an anti-trump livestream that will run for FOUR years #HEWILLNOTDIVIDEUS HE WILL NOT DIVIDE DMDE LI RETWEETSLIKES 61,823 124,150 11:32 AM-20 Jan 2017 わ347 62K 124K

That day, YouTuber I'm a fish began uploading highlights from the stream in which /pol/ users praise Donald Trump, hold signs with Pepe the Frog, play the song "Shadilay" and write "KEK" on the museum wall (shown below).



On January 22nd, Infowars host @PaulJosephWatson posted footage of LaBeouf aggressively yelling "he will not divide us" in the face of a young man, along with the claim that "Shia Labeouf maniacally screams 'he will not divide us!' in a Trump supporter's face" (shown below). Within 24 hours, the tweet gained over 10,600 likes and 7,700 retweets. That day, Redditor OnePonders submitted the video to /r/PublicFreakout[3] in a post titled "Shia LaBeouf gets divided." Many news outlets subsequently labeled the young man as a "white supremacist."




Arrest

On the evening of January 25th, 2017, Labeouf was arrested on stream on suspcion of violence (shown below). According to a New York Police Department spokesman, Labeouf allegedly grabbed a man's scarf and scratched his face, then pushed him to the ground after saying something that offended Labeouf on the livestream.[5][6]



On January 26th, the @HWNDUS Twitter feed claimed that Labeouf was arrested because of a video in which a man says "Hitler did nothing wrong" (shown below). Shortly after, the feed posted another tweet claiming "Shia was attacked by a Nazi" along with the hashtag #FreeShia[7] . That day, the hashtag became a trending topic within the United States, often accompanied by both protests and mockeries of the arrest.




Also on January 26th, YouTuber $15 American World Adventures uploaded a video of the alleged victim talking to the police, who claimed he was attacked by Labeouf unprovoked (shown below). The man did not appear to be the same individual from the "Hitler did nothing wrong" video.



NYC Closure

On February 10th, 2017, Page Six[8] reported that the Museum of the Moving Image would be shutting down the He Will Not Divide Us installation, citing violent altercations that had occurred on-site.

"“The installation created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the museum, its visitors, its staff, local residents and businesses. The installation had become a flashpoint for violence and was disrupted from its original intent. While the installation began constructively, it deteriorated markedly after one of the artists was arrested at the site of the installation and ultimately necessitated this action."

That day, the He Will Not Divide Us livestream was changed to display the message "The Museum Has Abandoned Us" (shown below).


LIVE LIVE THE MUSEUM HAS ABANDONED US

Relocation to Albuquerque

On February 18th, 2017, the art project was relocated outside the El Rey Theater in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. That day YouTuber Matthew Reichbach uploaded footage of LaBeouf speaking at the new location, saying he wanted to "make this sort of a safer space" (shown below).



On February 19th, Redditor stillnihilist posted a GIF of a man brandishing a firearm on the stream, claiming that he displayed the weapon while saying "Fuck Trump and his supporters" (shown below). Within 48 hours, the GIF received more than 3,200 votes (97% upvoted) and 260 comments on the /r/The_Donald subreddit.[11]


gif of three men standing in front of a camera and holding their phones, the one in the middle brandishing a gun

On February 21st, the camera was spray-painted by a masked vandal (shown below). In the coming days, the incident was reported by the news sites The Daily Dot[9] and TMZ.[10]




Relocation to Tennessee

On February 23rd, 2017, the livestream was closed after gunshots were reported in the local area.[12] On March 8th, the web cam was moved to an unknown location, where it pointed up at a flag with the words "He Will Not Divide Us" printed on the side (shown below).


ONOT DIVI VIDE US

On March 9th, an unknown person was recorded taking down the flag and replacing it with a "Make America Great Again" hat and Pepe the Frog T-shirt (shown below).



The following day, Redditor Merios_96 posted a /pol/-themed Picardia image macro speculating that a 4chan user tracked flight patterns and mapped stars in order to figure out where the flag's location was to /r/The_Donald,[13] where it gained over 10,500 votes (92% upvoted) and 875 comments in less than 24 hours (shown below, left). The following day, Redditor redleftred uploaded an illustration of several Pepe the Frog's running from Wojack with the "He Will Not Divide Us" flag (shown below, right).[14]


When you spend weeks plotting and successfully destroying Shia Lebeouf's livestream only for it to move to an unknown location pointing skyward at a flag at which point you turn into an autistic CIA analyst tracking flight patterns and mapping stars against the livestream while honing in on ambient sounds and car horns so that you manage to pin point a single flag pole in a country of 9.834 million km2 in just over a day all in the name of kek NO IVID

Also on March 10th, the news site Get Riced posted an article about how the location was discovered, claiming that viewers used triangulation techniques based on planes seen in the stream to determine the general area. A local then began honking their horn repeatedly while driving in the area, which were picked up by the webcam's microphone to further narrow the location. Finally, using star maps, 4chan users were able to identify the exact location of the flag on Google Maps.


Q search (o) Map view (defaut) v Johnson City. White Horn 80414 EN NOT ENY3319 ASQ4142 LIVE The white arc represents the path of star movement visible on camera. The duration of this movement is 09h, 17m, 08s Based on latitude and longitude of our suspected location, the star tracing the illustrated path would be Etamin, in the consellation Draco The straight line angle between Etamin and Polaris is 39 degrees. The circle in red represents a 39 degree viewing angle so the horizontal FOV is probably around 50 degrees, while the vertical FOV is probably around 25 degrees The faint star visible next to the flag is Polaris - it has to be since the other star is rotating around it in a perfect circle This means the flag pole is nearly due North of the camera, and the camera is facing a compass heading of about 5-7 degrees

Relocation to Liverpool

On March 22nd, 2017, the livestream was relocated to the top of the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool, England. In a press release, Labeouf, Turner and Rönko claimed that "America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist" and accused those who stole the flag previously as being "white supremacists."[17] That day, an anonymous 4chan user submitted several photographs of the new location to the /pol/ (politics) board (shown below).[16]


: I F------ SEE IT Anonymous (ID: @GCBtBD) 03/22/17(Wed)10:48:22 No.117766518圄 How the f--- are you people able to do this!?? I'm staring at the flag as we speak.. no idea how you'd be able to get on top though I'l leave that to another anon 100% on top of FACT building

In threads on both 4chan and 8chan, users planned ways to remove the flag from the building with drones, including cutting it down with an attached knife or painting it green with an attached paint bomb.

Flag Removal

On March 23rd, as masked man appeared on the Liverpool stream. The stream was subsequently taken offline and photographs began appearing on both 4chan[19] and 8chan[18] of an empty flag pole on the building, with many speculating that it had been stolen by the masked man.


| Flag Anonymous (ID: ONHERD) 函03/23/17(Thu)10:39:24 No.1 17937543 [Reply Damned mods, anyway, mask guy, somone on stream said they need scissors 52 replies and 7 images omitted. Click here to view >> O Anonymous (ID: MKNARN) 03/23/17(Thu)11:05:37 No.117940373 VKKYaFRN 117940152 Doesnt matter, they lost Anonymous (ID: SikhanD) 03/23/17(Thu)11:05:46 No. 1 1 7940393 File: 1484077955921 png (150 KB, 200x296) that didn't take long, well done scouse team bravo Anonymous (ID: IBGOliIM ) 03/23/17(Thu)11:06:55 No. 117940522 File: IMG 6616ipg (32 KB, 640x724) >>117939999 S---! So it's down?!!!? Screencap from the 5 second video of the masked guy If down. 10/10 effort. We need to know how it was done Anonymous (ID: anPM7wqN03/23/17(Thu)11:07:02 No. 117940542 File: 1478668385549 ipg (50 KB, 552x615) >117940324 >117940 wait did they actually manage to take it down? Anonymous (ID ) 03/23/17(Thu)11:07:16 No.117940560 117940358 >unintelligible mumblings What ever happened to the Beatles-esque mersey accent?

Shortly after, a photograph of the masked man standing on a roof with a cohort was posted to /pol/, referring to the pair as ''parkour autists'' (shown below, left).[20] That day, the official @FACT_Liverpool[21] Twitter feed announced that "on police advice" the installation was removed "due to dangerous, illegal trespassing" (shown below, right).


FACT Follow FACT @FACT_Liverpool On police advice, FACT and LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner have removed the installation HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US due to dangerous, illegal trespassing. RETWEETS LIKES 87 71 11:52 AM -23 Mar 2017

Digital Replica

On March 23rd, the digital strategy company Studio Nobu created a "digital replica" of the art installation on the site HeWillNotDivideUs.xyz,[22] featuring a virtual "He Will Not Divide Us" flag placed in the middle of a desert (shown below). That day, the site went down for several hours, leading many to speculate it was hit by a DDOS attack from 4chan users.


HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US. This Digital Rep)lice is inspired by anti-Trump art project "He will not divide us.. Originally initiated by actor Shia LaBeouf and artists Nastja Sade Rōnkko and Luke Turner bi US HWNDU has been removed and relocated several times, but this one is here to stay Installation by Studio Nobu Assets: Three.js, Wikimedia, Seamless Pixels

Operation White Wash

On August 13th, 2017, the HeWillNotDivide.us stream was relaunched, featuring the flag placed against a white wall at an unknown location. That day, several threads about the livestream were created on 4chan's /pol/ board, where many users began speculating that the flag was at the Serpentine Gallery in London, England based on an unverified direct message screenshot with Luke Turner.[23]


☆ www hewillnotdivideus。P ■ HWNDU IS LIVE AGAIN THIS IS NOT A DRILL Anonymous (ID: AXBesux。) 137297857 137298505 HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US Old thread got archived. The flag is at serpentine gallery, london 10 Anonymous (ID: AX8esUxo ) > 08/13/17(Sun)20:15:32 No. 137297743 File: 20170813 131304 png (230 KB, 1247x1890) Proof HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US 9 □ Anonymous (ID:0NOEM)雪08/13/17(Sun)20:16:14 No.137297820 Who cares? It stopped being fun after it was no longer public

That day, YouTuber H Drone uploaded a video titled "HWNDU Flag: London," chronicling how the flag was purportedly discovered at a different location in England by shining a blue light through a window and tracking reflections based on the movement of the sun throughout the day. The video has since been removed. Meanwhile, an image began circulating claiming that a blue light directed through the window of the house was visible on the wall during the livestream.

Relocation to France

In October 2017, the flag was moved to the Le Lieu Unique contemporary arts and music venue in Nantes, France. On October 16th, 2017, YouTuber MundaneMatt uploaded a video about the new location, referring to it as "Season 7" of the art project (shown below).



On October 24th, 2017, the H Drone YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Drone Attack on HWNDU Flag: France," showing a remote-controlled quadcopter with a flaming piece of cloth dangling from the bottom attempting to light the flag on fire before crashing to the ground (shown below).



The following day, the video was submitted to /r/The_Donald,[25] where it received more than 640 points (98% upvoted) and 100 comments within 24 hours. That day, Yahoo News[26] published an article about the attack, which included a statement from the Le Lieu Unique gallery:

"An unauthorised drone carrying a burning piece of cloth approached the flag to try to set it alight. The fireproof flag was undamaged and the attempt failed."

May 2018

On May 8th, 2018, Shia LaBeouf tweeted an embed of the livestream, showing the flags waving in the sky (shown below). Within 24 hours, the tweet gained over 4,500 likes, 1,100 retweets and 540 replies.




That day, several posts about the stream were submitted to 4chan's /pol/ board.[27][28] On May 9th, Redditor InfinitySlayer8 posted a screenshot of a 4chan post about the stream titled "He Will Not Divide Us: Infinity War" to /r/4chan,[29] where it gathered upwards of 3,800 points (95% upvoted) and 140 comments within eight hours.


D HWNDU BACK Anonymous (ID: Unh01PKT) EE 170897708170898013170898640 http://hewillnotdivide.us/ http://hewillnotdivide.us/ http://hewillnotdivide.us/ He will not divide us is back DAnonymous (ID: GXZ1mPAK 170897557 (OP) 05/08/18(T It's dead. Anonymous (ID: Unhol PKf ) cia 05/08/18(Tue)16:08:27 No. 170897896

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