The YAL chapter at Gettysburg College hosted an Incarceration Nation event along with the Black Student Union on campus. The club posted up flyers all throughout campus advertising the event. Like many Incarceration Nation events on campuses across the country, Gettysburg YAL aimed to bring attention to the ruthless War in Drugs and the racially disproportionate incarceration rates.
Gettysburg YAL built the mock jail cell and handed out literature for two days leading up to the main event. By utilizing the training methods instructed by the YAL Leadership Team, Gettysburg YAL was able to get over 80 sign ups to help support criminal justice reform. A crucial element of this event was to attract students who may not identify as Libertarian or even those who are not interested in politics. Going around and directly engaging students to sign up, not only helped stir the discussion about criminal justice reform but also made YAL’s presence more relevant on campus.
YAL Gettysburg reached out to Black Student Union to help coordinate the event, and the pro-liberty group has now crafted a partnership for future events on campus. YAL and BSU brought in a speaker from the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), former Baltimore Police Sergeant Michael Wood. Michael Wood is a nationally proclaimed critic of the current policing of American cities and how the War on Drugs and its enforcement had devastated black communities. He provided a unique insight on many of the moral wrongs that are occurring within police departments across the nation.
The relentless targeting of poor minority neighborhoods, has helped fuel the Baltimore riots and the many of the racial tensions present throughout the nation. An interesting point Michael Wood raised, is that most police officers are not racists or mean people, but they are trained to perform acts that abuse the liberties of citizens. Michael Wood is also applying to become the next Police Superintendent of Chicago, where he hopes to address many of the same policing problems that have plagued Baltimore and many of America’s major cities.
With a respectable audience, the meeting with Michael Wood went smoothly, with students and professors asking questions. The issue of race relations has been a hot topic on campus, and Incarceration Nation brought many students together from opposing political spectrum, to discuss an issue that hurts overall liberty. Gettysburg College YAL looks forward to doing more events with other student organizations, because for Liberty to win, we must try and reach audiences whom have never been aware about their rights.Published in