YAL at IU Brings Incarceration Nation to Campus

Young Americans for Liberty at Indiana University kept activism alive on campus this past week with our Incarceration Nation event, despite it unfortunately being one of our weakest activism events this year. We had already had to change the dates for this event due to midterms and were met with unsatisfactory weather and a dead campus when we did table.

It was very difficult to schedule members who were able to help with this event because of the change in schedules, but we finally came to a consensus and decided it would still be in our best interest to carry through with the event rather than cancel it.

We headed to our local hardware store to buy materials for our mock prison cell, and were told that they were out of one of the pieces. We improvised and found different pieces that would work instead and headed home to build our cell!

Incarceration Nation Posters

The next day we set up at a normally crowded location on campus and were met with a dead campus and less than satisfactory weather- it was cold, cloudy, and windy. This in combination with the students being on a new midterm schedule, didn’t make for an optimal tabling opportunity. People just didn’t seem interested in what we had to say. We tried switching up our hook, and at one point we even tore down and moved to a sunnier spot for a more visually pleasing set-up.

Incarceration Nation

Despite not attracting the crowds we would have liked, we did have some very interesting conversations with faculty who were pleased with what we were doing. We also had some very interested students approach us on their own just based off of our banner and posters. In the end, we ended up with about a page and a half of sign-ups, which is significantly less than what we’ve been used to.

We followed up later that week with an activism meeting where we watched a short video on our flawed criminal justice system. We trailed with an in-depth discussion covering topics such as mandatory minimums, solitary confinement, and racial inequality. Newer members then chipped in their thoughts for the rest of the semester and came up with some great ideas!

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