Students of Hamline University packed one classroom for the Hamline University Young Americans for Liberty Incarceration Nation day lecture. Though most seemed motivated by the promises of free Olive Garden catering chalked outside Giddens Alumni Center, nearly as many stayed long after their plates were empty, watching intently as Jacob Hornberger (President/founder of the Future of Freedom Foundation) lectured live, via Google Hangouts.
His webinar, titled “Police State USA,” was a scathing indictment of America’s unrestrained government at home and abroad. The appeal of the talk was as sweeping as its scope of topics. Criticizing America’s welfare state, its warfare state, and nearly every flavor of overreach in between, Hornberger offered a platter of ideas suited for any ideological palate.
To recruit for the event, HUYAL employed a mock prison, which they hand-crafted from PVC pipe, spray paint, and hardware-store adhesives, offering students a chance to voice their support for criminal justice reform. The students learned just how low the American government sets the threshold for “criminal” status; some were surprised that the law considered they themselves criminals.
For two weeks leading up to the event, HUYAL made their presence well known with a series of tabling sessions. Along with spreading literature and gaining potential attendees for the Police State USA webinar, the sessions provided HUYAL the added benefit of over three pages of new sign-ups to its general roster.
HUYAL also promoted its event at a related campus lecture, hosted by Hamline’s Criminal Justice department, called “From Prison to PhD.” Even the featured speaker, Dr Jason Sole, signed his name to the roster after he heard the pitch for Incarceration Nation.
For HUYAL, Incarceration Nation turned out a model of what an activism project should be; it reached out to an open-minded, diverse audience, presenting a message that they would not have heard without an organization such as YAL. HUYAL looks forward to finding new liberty activists waiting to be discovered, and building a community with the Hamline campus and beyond, during its future activism projects.Published in