Don’t Drone Me, Bro: UNC does Generation of War

YAL’s Generation of War Project provided the opportunity for the University of North Carolina Young Americans for Liberty to team up with the UNC Students for a Democratic Society, a group we don’t always see eye-to-eye with. With their help, we marked ten years of war in Iraq and discussed the present and future state of warfare.

After a day of tabling in the busiest quad on campus, we hosted an event featuring Jacob Hornberger, President of the Future of Freedom Foundation, and Prashanth Kamalakanthan, a Duke student and prominent anti-war activist. Buzz on campus, great speakers, and media attention together made the event a great success!

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Sporting our brand new club t-shirts, we took the quad to pass out literature and talk to students about the economic, political, and social costs of perpetual/unconstitutional warfare. Our t-shirts and literature were quite a hit. The t-shirts play off of “don’t tase me bro” and feature the Gadsden flag, “don’t DRONE me, bro”, and “UNC YAL.”

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A drone costume was comprised of cardboard wings and a white skin suit. Members had fun dressed up as a drone, chasing people around. Once people took our literature, we told them “you’ve been droned.” Our human drone was quite successful in attracting attention and bringing people to the table.

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The “Pin the Drone on the Warzone” kit was a creative way to engage with students. Some were surprised to learn how stretched our military is, others were not. We offered a UNC bandana as a blindfold and offered “winners” a piece of candy. Discussion flourished all day; we even got the perspective of a fellow who’d piloted drones in the Middle East. All the while, we encouraged people to attend our evening event.

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Nothing could draw as much attention as our 1/8 model drone. The “drone” was suspended 10-12 feet over the table almost all day. The aircraft, usually reserved for the battlefield, attracted many because it seemed so out of place on a peaceful college campus. Students even “flew” the drone around campus to reach more people.

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Our evening event was titled “Trading Freedom for Security: Foreign Policy and the War on Terrorism.” Speeches by Jacob Hornberger and Prashanth Kamalakanthan focused on issues like blowback, undeclared war, and just war. The Q&A session proved very insightful as we explored the ramifications of and solutions to warfare unbound by the Constitution.

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Mr. Hornberger even agreed to join UNC YAL afterwards at our favorite local bar, Linda’s!

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Overall, the event was a great success! We earned media attention on the front page of the Daily Tarheel (circulation of ~16,000) and created some buzz on a 5,000 person Facebook group called “Overheard at UNC.”

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What a great March event for UNC YAL. The end of the year is approaching quickly, but events just keep getting better! A big thanks to Young Americans for Liberty, UNC Students for a Democratic Society, and the Future of Freedom Foundation for helping put together such important activism.

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