March 24, 2011 — University of New Hampshire
I was not on hand for this event, unfortunately, but the Ridley Report put together an amazing video:
March 28, 2011 — North Carolina State University
The day that North Carolina State hosted Congressman Paul was the kick-off of Visualize the Debt — and what a way to kick it off! I arrived on the campus of NC State that morning to see the giant debt display and YAL members promoting Ron Paul’s speech to be given that evening and talking to collegues about the massive debt. There was also something I saw on campus that I had never seen before, a free speech tunnel: students are allowed to paint or write anything they want in this tunnel. The NC State chapter took it upon themselves to paint the entire tunnel with promotions for the event.
Brady Nameth, chapter president, was preparing for the event, confirming the press availability, reception and of course the speaking venue were all secured and ready to go. While setting up the speaking venue, Brady noticed that the 44′ long debt display could be placed in front of the stage as to build a buzz while people entered the venue. A call came in while we were setting up the debt display and Freedom Watch was going to have its first live broadcast that evening and wanted the Congressman to be a part of it. With the debt display properly set up in front of the stage and the camera men setting up, I was off to greet Dr. Paul at the airport.
Driving to the airport, the Congressman joked about how only 30 people may show up. Joking or not, he could not have been more wrong on the actual number of attendees. We arrived at the same time the press did and questions began about his possible candidacy (a trend that continued at other events) and about the continuing debt resolutions that kept getting passed in both houses of congress.
Fortuantely the press availability, reception, and speaking venue were all in the same building. As the reception began to fill up with supporters I went to the lobby to see if anyone was waiting to get into the main hall where the Congressman would be speaking. The question I should have asked was how many people are waiting. To my surprise, 45 mintues before the speech, there were several hundred people waiting for the doors to open. Once the doors opened, the seats started to fill up. Once the original 1,000 seats were filled, 200 more were added and filled; it was a standing only crowd.
On the same night of the Dr Paul’s speech in Raleigh, North Carolina, Barack Obama gave a speech about the United States’ involvement in Libya. Ron read the transcript right before he went on stage and Libya became a main part of his speech. He spoke truth about our involvement and brought to light — which Obama wanted to keep in the dark — that NATO receives most of its funding and war machines from the United States. So Barack Obama saying NATO was leading the effort against Muammar Gaddafi was Barack Obama saying the United States was leading the effort.
Afterwards, a line formed and Dr. Paul took pictures and shook hands with those who came until it was time for him to be a part of Freedom Watch’s first live broadcast.
He continued to meet and visit with the crowd until it was time for him to return to Washington to fight for liberty in the Congress.
April 20, 2011 — Mississippi State University
As I woke up that morning I was greeted with the sound of thunder. Ben Weinberg, MSU chapter president, and I were worried about the number of people that would show up to the event that night. To clear my head of these distractions, I drove around the dreary but normally beautiful town of Starkville and waited for Congressman Paul to arrive. When I showed up to the airport to pick up him and his entourage, I was informed that lightning had struck the runway and cracked a portion of it. I had heard of lightning splitting trees in half but never a runway.
From the airport we drove to campus for his book signing. Once we got to the Barnes & Noble, our plans went out the window but thankfully, everything went smoothly. Over the course of an hour over 150 people came to have Congressman Paul’s new book Liberty Defined. After the book signing ended the weather started to worsen; tornado sirens were going off regularly, even right up to the start of the event. A funnel cloud was forming in the distance and dime-sized hail fell from the sky.
The press availability was intended to start at 5:30, however the press showed up early due to the weather. Also as a result, the press event went from a press-only event to a room full of students; the Dawg House was allegedly the safest place in the Colvard Student Union. After the press was done asking questions the students in the room applauded Dr. Paul for his honest and principled answers.
The weather finally lightened up enough for everyone to walk over to Bettersworth Auditorium to take their seats in anticipation of hearing Dr. Paul’s speech. Despite the inclement weather, the 1,100 seater auditorium was at capacity.
The speech started with the “I Pledge” video to encourage the audience to get involved with Young Americans for Liberty followed by short introductions from founder of the Mississippi State chapter and current employee of the Campaign for Liberty, Matt Burrow, and current chapter president, Ben Weinberg. Finally the guest of honor spoke and was greeted with a warm Mississippi welcome. Dr. Paul’s speech touched on many issues, including the Federal Reserve and economic climate, the multiple wars in the Middle East, civil liberties and the recent ordinance in Starkville which requires those riding bicycles to wear a helmet.
After his speech the chapter presented him with a gift: a cowbell which summarizes Mississippi State tradition.
April 21, 2011 — Florida State University
With one event finished it was on to the second in as many days. It had been a while since I was in the state of Florida and the clear skies that greeted me were more than welcome. It was around two o’clock when I arrived in Tallahassee when I met with the Young Americans for Liberty Florida State Chapter President, Patrick O’Sullivan. We briefly walked through the event and discussed the timeline and logistics for the evening.
Patrick and I parted ways to take care of our delegated tasks and would team up again later that night at Ruby Diamond Auditorium for Dr. Paul’s speech. I arrived at the airport where I met Campaign for Liberty Florida State Coordinator, Mark Cross. He and I discussed local politics and waited for the Congressman to arrive; upon his arrival we left for the book signing to be greeted by a growing mass of people waiting to have the author sign copies of his new book. For the while I was watching the Congressman sign books, I can only remember a hand full of people getting a single book signed– most people had stacks of books to get signed.
After a line of nearly 200 people and several hundred books later, it was on to the press availability, where there were twice as many members of the press from the night before since the weather was not hindering anyone’s ability to travel. The usual questions were asked about his possible candidicy for the White House, his views on economics and of course the unconstitutional wars the United States finds herself in. Rep. Paul took questions for 30 minutes and conveyed the message of liberty to some reporters who seemed receptive — but it also fell on a few deaf ears.
The reception was next on the agenda, where he briefly spoke to an attentive crowd and answered a few questions concerning education, historical misconceptions, and how the youth will lead a peaceful and free tomorrow. Everyone then proceeded to have his or her picture taken with Dr. Paul and exchange business cards to form a stronger libety network within Florida.
As we left the reception and walked to the car, I could see the sun setting behind Ruby Diamond Auditorium at the end of West College Avenue. After the short drive we were greeted by Patrick and taken to the green room, where Ron prepared for his speech. Patrick had everything under control and the program began shortly thereafter. Patrick and Mark did the honors of taming the crowd with a showing of YAL’s “I Pledge” video. Ron was introduced and the beautiful Ruby Diamond Auditorium was filled with over a thousand people who had come to listen to the message of liberty. Some of the topics covered in his speech were the failed war on drugs, sound money, and the theory of blowback, concluding with another standing ovation for the Congressman as he waved goodbye to the crowd. He was very pleased with the back to back events and headed home to Texas for the holiday.
April 28, 2011 — University of Nevada, Reno
Reno was a very successful event put on by the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at UNR. At the book signing beforehand, Ron Paul answered a few questions from the press, saying that in the past he’s found a lot of support here in Nevada. “There’s been more enthusiasm here than a lot of other places, and I think that’s just a spirit that exists here.”
His speech covered the recent potential government shutdown, the budget crisis, and the national debt. He also said he wants America to get out of the United Nations, and hopes to repeal the PATRIOT Act.
Another hot topic: gold prices. Paul said he wants American currency to be tied to the value of gold. He told supporters that America is in the middle of a “really big” crisis right now.
The Congressman spoke to a packed house yet again with a crowd of 600.
Media coverage: KOLO, KTVN and AP. Read an additional, first-hand report from YAL’s Adam Weinberg here.
Young Americans for Liberty would like to thank everyone who attended and helped with all of these successful event.Published in