Georgia Tech students are notoriously apathetic about topics such as sound fiscal policy and civil liberties, so those activism projects can be tricky. However, if you start talking about drones, ears perk up. Engineers enjoy hearing about the mechanics of drones, and when you make a display like we did to illustrate the failure of the drone program, their eyes grow wide. Many of them didn’t even know how many innocent people had died as a result of our government’s drone program. Luckily, we anticipated this ignorance and made a display that you couldn’t miss.
We strung up the names of every single child that the United States government has killed with drones. It happened to be windy that day, which added a nice dramatic effect to our display.
When people asked about the display, we explained that even though the government occasionally kills someone that it considers a terrorist, many children and other innocent people are also killed. We explained that the government calls this “collateral damage” and sweeps it under the rug. Some knew about the program, but most were shocked; it’s hard to ignore the cost of war.
In addition to this display, we created a miniature memorial to commemorate the soldiers from Georgia who died in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. We asked students to stick miniature American flags, representing the soldiers, in a foam board map of the state of Georgia.
Students enjoyed the interaction, and it was a nice gesture for the soldiers. 202 soldiers from Georgia died in total, and at around 100 flags, our map was already looking respectable.
As usual, we made sure our table looked professional. We had cards explaining the Generation of War concept, as well as the YAL mission cards. There were also good reading materials like Bastiat’s The Law, Great Myths of the Great Depression by Lawrence Reed, and of course, the United States Constitution. But it was our two displays that stole the attention, and as a result, the students were very receptive to the message of liberty.