After Trump's inauguration as President of the United States, Shia LaBeouf opened his "He Will Not Divide Us" exhibit alongside Jaden Smith, set to remain open for the next four years.
Despite its message of unity, the exhibit is attracting a large number of neo-Nazis and they're intent on disrupting it. And disrupt it, they did, with LaBeouf being briefly arrested and released after a neo-Nazi baited him and then accused him of assault.
It's all part of an orchestrated plan to silence #ShiaLaBeouf and his installation: BuzzFeed got access to various 4chan and Reddit threads being used to harass and troll anti-Trump protesters, and thanks to that, we have an idea of what's happening. Here are a few examples of what goes on in the threads:
The harassment hasn't stopped there, though, as these individuals have also been showing up at the exhibit itself. During the weekend, a man wearing a hat similar to the ones used by Nazi soldiers approached the camera and whispered "14 88" but LaBeouf confronted him:
To break it down, "14-88" is a neo-Nazi code: The "14" refers to the 14-word pledges repeated by members of the Aryan Nation (a white supremacist organization/hate group, or as they're commonly known, "hardcore nut jobs"). The "88" is a coded reference to "Heil Hitler": "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet, "HH" = "88"...you get it.
This altercation didn't go unnoticed in the neo-Nazi community, as it has motivated much creepier attacks on the exhibit, especially now that they're feeling emboldened after LaBeouf's arrest. These include a pair of masked men slicing a stuffed animal:
People holding Pepe images in front of the camera, a once-benign cartoon character that has now come to be a symbolic mascot of the alt-right and neo-Nazis:
And low-level trolls ordering large amounts of pizza to the location of the exhibit with nobody to pay the bill. Furthermore, users claim to have set up prostitution meet-ups through Craigslist in hopes of getting anyone who responds to the covert ads arrested. An image showing the success of the strategy started circulating on the interwebs but it hasn't been verified.
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If that sounded messed up to you, get ready for what's next, as perhaps the weirdest and most disturbing part of all of this madness is that viewers of the livestream are documenting every single protester that goes to the exhibit and their personal information is being posted on a neo-Nazi wiki page:
I mean... what more is there to say about that? After that, the attacks have only been getting stronger.
But not to be daunted, LaBeouf went straight back to the installation after being released from jail. Hopefully, the people that are part of the exhibition stay safe from these goons and keep fighting the good fight.