Shia LeBouf is relocating his “He Will Not Divide Us” Trump protest/art installation to New Mexico after New York’s Museum of the Moving Image shut it down due to security concerns. My thoughts on the protest? Great sentiment…but he’s actually done a fantastic job dividing us.
The protest hit close to home for me mainly because…well, it was close to home. Like one block from my apartment and right across the street from the Starbucks I write at every day. I’ve only lived in New York for a few years, but this experience helped me achieve one of my main goals: to see one of the stars of Transformers in a poncho outside a Starbucks.
Second thought: For a number of reasons, I’m horrible in a protest. Here’s why:
* Within 10-15 minutes of the protest beginning, I’m worrying about lunch. “No justice, no peace…and no sandwiches, apparently? Are we on our own or is the head of the protest going to cater this deal? Is there a head of this protest or…you know what, I’m hungry, I’m going home.”
* It does look exhausting, making it all the more impressive when protesters stay protesting for extended periods of time. How do you hold a sign up for more than 5 minutes? I’d be walking around, chanting, “Everyone refer to the sign I’ve set down over there after my arm fell asleep!”
* I’m more likely to be in for a rally. A rally, you’re just standing there. A march involves physical activity, which is much more of a commitment. Plus how do you know everybody in it is really down for the cause if it’s a march? They may just be looking for the exercise. There may be a white supremacist in your midst thinking, “I’ll get 10,000 steps however I can.”
* I’d go to ridiculous lengths to avoid getting pepper sprayed, including (but not limited to) taking up the cause of the opposition. “Look guys, I agree with you but you have no pepper spray. The other side does. Gotta vote with my eyes here.” Plus maybe I could convince the pepper spray guys I was on their side, take a canister of pepper spray, and start using it against them.
* One thing I’ve always wondered about pepper spray: has there ever been a nice cop using pepper spray that’s asked the protester, “Okay, say ‘when.'”
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