In order to demonstrate the consequences of socialism, WUYAL crafted a Soviet-style gulag. The four walled, 10 foot high stockade was displayed prominently in the middle of campus for most of the day. Around the prison marched guards dressed in Soviet regalia and inside were abused prisoners who had resisted the socialist regime. Playing in the background was the Soviet National Anthem and a speech containing propaganda to which the prisoners were forced to listen.
Students had a wide range of responses to the event. Some were amused, some were inspired and began arguing the merits of capitalism with our soviet guards, some regarded the event as petty, and others remarked that it was offensive to Russian Americans. The gulag drew a local radio station, the campus newspaper, and many bloggers who interviewed participants and passers by. Flyers were distributed with information regarding the realities of socialism and the destruction which it has caused in the 20th century.
It was not long before for some professors decided they were unpleased with this sort of political protest. A few walked by and remarked that they would “make some calls” in order to ensure that we were shut down. About two hours into the event, a university official approached the guards and demanded that we provide him with our paperwork. After successfully demonstrating that we were authorized by event services, he marched off. An hour or so later came a police officer following up on a complaint about the event which she received. After being assured that our event was peaceful, she too left. Finally, the University brought out the big guns. They came with several armed officers and a university official and instructed us to take down our protest on account of the fact that our tools were not inspected prior to the erection of the gulag.
Check out the local news report on the event here.Published in