Jaden Smith “celebrated” the inauguration of Donald Trump by kicking off a four-year-long protest against the new POTUS. As part of the participatory performance art project “He Will Not Divide Us,” brainchild of Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf, Jaden Smith stood before a camera chanting the anti-Trump mantra for over three hours.
— Rap-Up (@RapUp) January 21, 2017
While Jaden Smith was the first anti-Trump protester to get before the “He Will Not Divide Us” camera mounted on the exterior of the New York Museum of the Moving Image, he quickly drew a crowd of interested onlookers. Many of those witnesses to Jaden’s non-violent protest soon got involved in the protest themselves, joining him in his chanting against Donald Trump.
The entire purpose of the “He Will Not Divide Us” protest/performance art piece is to give a voice to those disenfranchised by the new leadership of America. Many, like Jaden Smith, are young adults. And many, like Jaden, simply want their voices to be heard. According to the protest’s website, participation is open to anyone who wants to share their “resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community.”
As TIME reports, the “He Will Not Divide Us” piece created by Shia LaBeouf and begun by Jaden Smith is not just recorded, it’s being live-streamed 24/7. Anyone who wants to say (or sing or perform) the empowering mantra is invited to come to the site and do just that. They can say it once or for hours at a time, a la Jaden Smith.
What’s more, the live-streaming protest begun by Jaden Smith at 9:00 a.m. on Inauguration Day is slated to remain playing constantly for the next four years. Or, as the website clearly specifies, for “the duration of the presidency.”
Jaden Smith’s peaceful protest of the new POTUS was not the only anti-Trump protest to go down on Friday; far from it. However, unlike Jaden, many anti-Trump protesters were unable to keep their protests of the controversial new president from devolving into violence and destruction. With the “He Will Not Divide Us” project, protesters will have a medium to share their voice without resorting to mayhem.
Jaden has taken to his popular Twitter feed to share what’s going on with his new activism.
— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) January 22, 2017
And to share the mantra that he and project creator Shia LaBeouf hope to make famous over the next four years (or less).
HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US
— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) January 17, 2017
In addition, the oldest son of Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith has been using his Instagram account to share the “He Will Not Divide Us” story. Many will appreciate that Jaden is using his Instagram for a good cause, unlike a week ago when he used it to have and live stream an esoteric meltdown related to failing his driving test.
In all, Jaden Smith stuck around the performance art site for over six hours on Friday, with anti-Trump protest mastermind Shia LaBeouf sporting a red beanie and lingering on the sidelines of the big show.
Not surprisingly, while Jaden Smith and his very public anti-Trump protest efforts have gotten a good deal of support from like-minded individuals, not everyone is happy with the “He Will Not Divide Us” project. After news of the effort broke mid-inauguration, folks began to take to social media to share their thoughts and feelings about both the protest and Jaden Smith.
@mattysrings by protesting the POTUS he's segregating himself from so many, hence "YOU'RE DOING IT TO YOURSELF"
— M (@hatchaaa33) January 21, 2017
@businessinsider Pure foolishness. The problem isn't Trump. It's them.
— Katina Person (@Simply_Katina) January 21, 2017
@officialjaden I love you. keep spreading the message.
— Mwaka (@beammeupthotty) January 20, 2017
Some folks wanted to thank Jaden for his “He Will Not Divide Us” efforts, and also to thank him for his participation in the Women’s March on Washington. Perhaps not coincidentally, with over a million people across the nation and the world marching against Trump and for women’s rights on Saturday, efforts also remained completely nonviolent.
shoutout to Jaden Smith who's been the 1st participant in the "he will not divide us" live stream & is marching at the #WomensMarch today
— ㅤㅤㅤ (@actualdrew) January 21, 2017
While neither Jaden nor Shia have outlined the security measures they’ve taken to ensure the performance art project keeps running without interruption for the next four years or so, it’s likely that they will be able to pull it off. This isn’t Shia’s first such piece, and he has the talent and background to make it work.
What are your thoughts on the “He Will Not Divide Us” anti-Trump protest? Do you agree with Jaden Smith and support his efforts, or do you think the protest is divisive in and of itself?
[Featured Image by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Images]