George Mason Students Promote 1st Amendment, Condemn NSA for Constitution Week

The Young Americans for Liberty chapter at George Mason University demonstrated on the Fairfax campus the Constitution Week Event “Say ‘NO’ to NSA Spying” on Wednesday the 18th of September. This event brought attention to the NSA’s blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

George Mason YAL was one of approximately 170 other YAL chapters demonstrating an event during Constitution Week. 

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George Mason YAL
Melisa Treschnjeva: President 
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030
Website: //www.georgemasonyal.com
Facebook: //www.facebook.com/GeorgeMasonYAL
Instagram: http://instagram.com/masonyal
Twitter: @GeorgeMasonYAL

We, as a chapter, felt this event highlighted how we all collectively felt on this issue regarding privacy. The consensus was that the NSA has overreached their bounds by violating the Fourth Amendment. Our goal for this event was to bring Mason Patriots aware of what exactly is going on with this invasion of privacy. With some help from the YAL National Headquarters, located just thirty minutes from the Mason Fairfax campus, we had two NSA agents “spy” on students with a fake microphone. In addition to this event, we collaborated with Mason Students for Liberty to erect a Free Speech Wall where students exercised their first amendment rights as well! 

Before we even held our first interest meeting, the officers held a meeting regarding how to get off the ground as well as plans for Constitution Week. As a chapter, the idea with the NSA agent hit home with us, and so we decided that would be the most fun we could have as our first event. Next, we had our first interest meeting held a week before our event to help us get our name out to everyone, as well as get in talks with Mason Liberty (Students for Liberty). In between both meetings, the officers continued to be in talks via social media on how to go about the event in gathering materials and such, but the meeting proved to be very beneficial with us. We had a few members help out, and one became our NSA agent! A few days before our event, 

National YAL came to us wanting to do a Free Speech Wall. This was not part of our plan initially, because the Mason SFL chapter had the wall as their signature event. We decided that it would be best to unify the organizations and collaborate on the wall. Although we planned the wall only about two days before our NSA event, everything went well and was a great success! 

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As you can see, Barack Obama and George W. Bush made a guest appearance. showing their love for the NSA and disregard for the Constitution. 

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George Mason Young Americans for Liberty and Mason Students for Liberty collaborated on the Free Speech Wall (FSW) for this event, whereas just Mason YAL conducted the NSA event. These demonstrations occurred during YAL’s “Constitution Week” and both the NSA and FSW were ideas for activism events — we did two of the three suggested. We called our event, “Say ‘NO’ to NSA Spying” and had the wall going on to attract visitors to our table. 

We held the event on Wednesday the 18th of September from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (however the wall was up for a total of 3.5 days). The event was located on Mason’s designated “Free Speech Zone” called North Plaza, situated at the heart of campus. The collaboration of events was chosen to help highlight what is truly happening to our Constitution and our rights granted in it. Plus, both of these were fun and garned a lot of attention, mainly for Mason YAL. 

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Who are Rock Paw and Murray Rockbard? 

Rock Paw and Murray Rockbard are our chapters new “mascots” that came about through a mishap! What are they? They are rocks…they really are rocks. When building the wall, we were without a hammer. We improvised and used two rocks to help build it. They worked really well, seeing as the wall was standing…for FOUR days! 

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We tabled for a total of 6 hours, and gathered about 90 signups in just the first day of tabling. We petitioned the next day, without a table (and we kept the wall up), and got about 30 more. In total, we gathered about 126 signatures from this event. Along with this, we advertised for our next meeting which was Tuesday, September 24th.  

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We had about 30 people show up to our meeting!

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Mason YAL was interviewed by Russia Today*, WorldNetDaily, and Mason’s school newspaper, The Fourth Estate*. National YAL also created an article on us as well! All were quite positive towards us and our efforts. Our event and chapter was noticed by Mason’s student-run radio called WGMUradio, and three of our officers went to discuss the event as well as the organization. 

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Links listed are articles about our chapter, as well as other places that picked up the event: 

 *Photos taken by Olivia Valentine and Sean Hickey 

* Footage by Madeline Dutro; Film made by Olivia Valentine 

We were also able to obtain some media coverage from the event, particularly from Russia Today, and WND. WND’s piece can be seen here. More pictures from the event can be found on our Facebook page here, as well as our website.

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