April has been an incredibly busy month for the Kansas State University chapter of Young Americans for Liberty!
Throughout the month, we have had our usual weekly meetings and tabling events with an estimated thirty sign ups. Topics of discussions at meetings included everything from intellectual property to martial law in Boston in light of the recent Boston bombings. Events in that arena have been standard for our chapter: 10 to 20 members in attendance per meeting with a great variety of opinions being shared and questioned.
Our chapter chose to kick off April by building two free speech walls that are roughly eight feet long by four feet high. Our chapter is set to showcase them this week at the student union, inviting students to write anything they so choose on the walls: free speech..with a twist. The walls will be enclosed, and those who want to write on the wall must request a free speech pass. Participants are then encouraged to give up their free speech pass for a cookie, incentivizing loss of free speech in a similar way to how the United States’ government and college campuses across the country offer incentives for giving up personal liberty.
Although building and getting ready for our free speech event next week has been a lot of fun, the highlight of our April activism thus far has been hosting the Young Americans for Liberty convention for the state of Kansas.
A total of 104 activists showed up to hear about the message of liberty from speakers including Dr. Tom Woods, Defense Distrubuted’s Cody Wilson, and the mayor of Manhattan, John Matta. For me, personally, the highlight of the convention was hearing Dr. Woods speak about how the liberty movement represents a third America — one that has come to light more frequently in recent years because we have been a constant force that was talking about things like the Fed long while the two major parties fixated on blaming each other for shortcomings in the government.
Cody Wilson offered a crypto-anarchist perspective, talking about the innovative work that Defense Distributed has done and is continuing to do in the realm of printed weaponry. Wilson brought up the challenge that the system cannot bear the weight of citizens being able to obtain guns through 3D printing and questioned the idea of working within the traditional political system. To hear the entirety of his speech, watch this video.
Mayor John Matta of Manhattan, KS also offered a surprisingly Libertarian view at the Kansas State YAL convention while talking about rental inspection requirements and the city-wide busing system. To quote fellow convention-goer, Liz Jackson: “Manhattan is so blessed to have John Matta as our mayor — he self-identifies as a paleoconservative, loves Ron Paul and Tom Woods, and quotes Bastiat.”
Another pleasant surprise was Ron Paul skyping into the convention. In an adorable twist, the first question posed to him was from a 15 year-old freshman at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka who began her musing with “I’m about to cry; I love you so much.” Ron Paul spoke about the important of sound money and non-interventionist policy. What was particularly interesting about our convention was that a wide variety of ages were represented, from seven to sixty-eight years old. Ron Paul seemed to be welcome in an equality positive light by all convention-goers, regardless of age.
In conclusion, it is clear that a love of freedom and rational economic policy is becoming increasingly more important to both my generation and that of my family, and I predict that the wave will only continue as more people begin to open their eyes to the reality of where “business as usual” and the status quo has taken us.
For those of you who missed the convention, or who would simply love to repeat the experience, our chapter has uploaded segments onto our YouTube channel which can be found here.
The Kansas State University Young Americans for Liberty chapter would like to thank all convention attendees, speakers, and organizers for giving us this incredible opportunity. The last few months of weekly planning meetings culminated into an intellectually satisfying event that has given us the jolt of energy needed to end the semester on a strong note.
Published media from the convention to-date:Published in