His most recent installment is a peaceful protest that begun the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The continuous live-stream mounted outside of the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens is an invitation to anyone to come deliver the mantra “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US.” The live-stream will be active 24 hours a day, every day, for the entire duration of Trump’s presidency and you can watch it online.
Each participant has the ability to make their presentation their own and to present the mantra in whatever spirit their heart desires.
Inspired by the demonstrators that remained peaceful and resilient while Trump supporters harassed them, I decided I wanted to visit the stream myself and be a part of the positivity. I drove two hours from my South Jersey university and found some free street parking in the neighborhood a few blocks away.
When I got to the graveled lot, I was surprised by how intimate the scene was. It was literally just a crowd of kids and a camera on the wall. Everyone, including Shia, was dancing, singing the mantra, and interacting so peacefully and beautifully. We surrounded musicians playing the drums and cowbell and enjoyed each other’s company.
Shia acts like everyone’s dad. He knows the names of the locals, gives them pet names, hugs newcomers and faces he recognizes, and brings us donuts and hand-warmers. When the rain started up, he handed out ponchos to everyone. At the end of a block there is a Starbucks to warm up or dry off in.
Shia’s willing to take pictures with everyone and give shout outs for Snapchat or Instagram. He even gave Affinity Magazine a shoutout:
— #hewillnotdivideus (@xwithmywoes) January 23, 2017
Shia has been there every day since it started, so when you come, you have a great chance of meeting him. If you’re ever available in the New York area, I suggest visiting the site. Stay for a few minutes or all day. The live-stream will be up for (hopefully only) four years. I left the demonstration feeling hopeful, inspired by the youth, and happy from the energy.