Incarceration Nation tips

Hello fellow liberty lovers!

Two weeks ago it warmed up enough here at University of Alaska, Fairbanks for our university’s annual outdoor event called “Springfest,” where there’s food, bounce houses, knockerball, and other activities. I was able to use the Incarceration Nation (IncNat) kit to remind people of their rights in a fun, engaging way that everyone enjoyed.

I dressed up as a cop complete with aviators, stick-on mustache, and a really fake badge. We had made a “jail” earlier that day, we had an orange button up short sleeve shirt for a prison uniform, all so I could fake arrest people and their friends could take a picture of them.

YAL prisonerYAL @ UAF member, Wyatt, modeling the shirt behind bars.

Respect my athoritahWyatt, me and my convincing mustache.

We didn’t build an entire fake jail, just a 40″x40″ section of it so that we could walk around with it. Wyatt would follow me with the bars saying,”Let me out! Let me out!” to which I would snap back,”Quiet, inmate!”

However all this prep is worthless unless you can ask complete strangers the three questions provided on the IncNat flyer. The first consideration is who to target. We did best with large groups and especially couples, because guys are less likely to simply walk off if a girl is interested in what you’re saying.

Be quick and to the point. What worked for me is to say,”Excuse me, do you have a minute to answer a couple of questions?” Don’t wait for an answer, if there is a moment’s hesitation just start asking the questions off the flyer. “Have you ever had a drink while under 21? Have you ever smoked marijuana or know someone who has, and did you report that person?”

Obviously the vast majority of people will admit to one or all of those, at which point you say,”Well I’m afraid that makes you a criminal, and so I’m going to put you under arrest while your friends take pictures of you.” This is where people crack up and someone will likely get their picture taken behind the fake jail.

Now talk about YAL and remind people of their rights while dealing with cops. The little blue cards are great for this, they can pocket them and they’ll be reminded of that fun moment when they clear their pockets. Get an email to let them know about future events. Before they walk away tell them about a YAL pizza party or some event of yours for them to come to, preferably that night.

When you have them at your event, have some initial conversation and then go into the IncNat documentary.

**Note: If you dress up like a cop, don’t make it too convincing for several reasons but on the top of that list is you don’t want to be arrested for impersonating an officer.

Second, is that you should let people take their own pictures because if you take one they need to sign a picture release ( and nobody wants to hassle with that.

Finally I wanted to let you know how to make that jail super cheap and easy, just get three 10′ long white PVC pipes, cut them in thirds, 40″ (safety first! Wear protective glasses and have someone experienced with power tools do it). You don’t need screws or glue, just silver duct tape to connect it all up and it’s very easy to start over if you make a mistake.

Have fun with your liberty activism this summer and stay safe!

-Dustin Harris
YAL Alaska State Chairman
President, YAL UAF chapter

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