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You may remember the No Nanny Corner Store events we held earlier this year in Toronto and Calgary. The story was picked up by some pretty big news outlets.

Well, now’s your chance to be part of the action at the next No Nanny Corner Store stunt – this time in Ottawa!

SFLcanadanonannyOn Wednesday, December 14th SFL Canada will once again be taking over a corner store and filling it with our specially-created plain-packaged products.

We plan on giving people a glimpse into what the world would look like if we let government get away with overtaxing, over-regulating, or straight up banning everything that isn’t good for you.

The store will be decked out with all of the “appropriate” warnings, and we will be giving out “government approved” bags of chips, pop, and chocolate bars.

But I need your help to pull this off!

If you’re interested, just reach out to me at dclement@studentsforliberty.org

 

Here are some details:

  • The store will run from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm (Wednesday, Dec. 14th)
  • We will go to Parliament Hill to hand out materials from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • And if you need assistance getting to Ottawa, just let me know and we’ll help you get here!

Looking forward to another great event!

14956477_1205807156124391_4375239080887209463_nLast Wednesday, the day after the election, the Troy University Young Americans for Liberty/Students For Liberty chapter held an event for the campus to express their opinion of the election from their “Soap Box.” We built a small platform to act as the “Soap Box” and gave people a megaphone to proselytize to the masses their thoughts and opinions on the election, the future of America, and honestly whatever they wanted. It started off slow, with people confused as to what was going on, and then more and more people came by and caught onto the idea and participated.

Troy is a fairly conservative school overall, but we also have a large international population, so it was interesting to see people come up and speak on various social issues across the political spectrum. We had people bashing on Trump and him winning, others rejoicing that Clinton lost.

There was one solemn young man who was just disgusted with the election and the future of America with a Trump presidency. 14440618_1205806272791146_8336600232128622873_nOthers came forward in support of Trump and had a soothing optimism for the future. Many more got up and encouraged unity in this time of transition. International students got up and spoke of their thoughts about America and future relations with their countries.

Many people expressed a need to turn towards religion and faith going forward. And as I was ready to wrap up for the day, something interesting happened. A Trump supporter who had spoken earlier in the day came back and got back on his soap box to speak again, and unlike much of the typical hate and negativity that was wrought by this election he spoke to the people with a great fiery support for the future and as he spoke a crowd gathered around to listen and instead of the Trump supporter just rambling on a dialogue opened up, all of the sudden people from across the political spectrum were talking about issues, not just promises and fear mongering, but real issues. (more…)

There are many nations in the world in which the concept of personal liberty is entirely absent. Globally, corrupt governments stifle student movements that engage in discussion and activism. One such activist whose determination is unhindered by these obstacles is Mugabi John Socrates. A graduate of Kyambogo University in Kampala, the 26-year-old Ugandan considers himself a full time activist, at great personal risk. His network has expanded to other universities in Uganda, with Kyambogo holding a recent conference on how taxation and licensing laws kill entrepreneurship.

Uganda’s post-colonial history is rocky, and in the wake of the military dictatorship of Idi Amin, the nation has struggled to establish a sense of political freedom. Since the unseating of Idi Amin in 1986, President Yoweri Musenevi has been consistently elected as the head of the country in what are officially called republican elections. According to Mugabi, however, Musenevi’s regime has secured its rule through mass suppression of opposing views. One such example is found in the 2016 presidential election, which saw Musenevi challenged by the popular, democratic reformer, Kizza Besigye. According to the 1995 Ugandan constitution, Uganda is a republic, yet, there has been little change in the government since the late 1980s. Besigye, a physician and former military officer, has attempted to unseat Musenevi in three previous elections, but has failed each time despite gaining popular support. In the wake of his latest loss, on May 13th of this year, Besigye was arrested and flown to a remote prison on charges of treason.

Uganda has also distanced itself from the international community with the government’s attempts to pass anti-LGBT legislation. In 2014, the government attempted to pass the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill, which made it illegal for homosexuals to pursue intimate relations on pain of death, which was later changed to a life sentence. A combination of international outrage and President Obama cutting of financial aid to Uganda pushed the Ugandan Constitutional Court to strike down the legislation. However, repression of LGBT individuals, in addition to student activists, continues under Musenevi’s government.

John Mugabi is concerned about this grim reality, especially when many of his friends have been arrested and tortured by police. Yet, he believes that the corruption within the government and how easily personal greed can be exploited even among student leaders at universities, is central to the problem. A recent scandal at Mugabi’s alma mater this past September involving the guild president (the equivalent to a head of student involvement at an American university) shed light on how encompassing this corruption is. Mugabi participated in a study abroad program offered in the Netherlands in 2014 and this opportunity was extended to the guild president, Ian Kafuko. Upon receiving 25 million Uganda shillings (roughly USD $7,000) Mugabi noticed that the president had not yet departed for Europe, and later realized that this man had forged his travel and Visa documents in order to essentially steal the money. The university expelled the student and has launched a court case against Kafuko who has yet to be found.

Mugabi told me that, for many students, simply resorting to corruption and looting is far more profitable than attempting to legitimately improve one’s lifestyle. He also said, “we suffer here mainly because many people, the young most so, are not empowered at all,” and that this state of affairs “is the design of the regime.”

Mugabi believes that with the efforts of young people, specifically those engaged in Students For Liberty, reform is possible for Uganda… so long as student activists remember their strength and ability to change their society. In the wake of President Obama justifying sending troops into Uganda we must remember the consequences of initiating regime change at risk of imposing our vision of a free society, instead of leaving Ugandans to discover what a free society is for themselves. Full time activists like John Mugabi should serve as an example for all student leaders in SFL around the world to never lose hope and determination, no matter how great the obstacles may seem, because at that point, those who oppose individual liberty will have been victorious.


This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, visit our guest submissions page

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Searching for an opportunity to learn about Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and meet other like-minded individuals? Look no further because the Ayn Rand Institute is hosting the 2016 Ayn Rand Student Conference, “Live Free and Thrive,” in Atlanta, Georgia from November 4th to 6th!Atlanta

Thus far, 150 student attendees have registered for the conference, and the Institute hopes to have few more budding scholars, like you, to spend a weekend in the beautiful city of Atlanta to explore Rand’s philosophy.

Although the registration page shows that the deadline to apply has passed, the Institute is still open for applications until they exhaust their scholarship funds, which cover the entire attendance cost (registration fee, travel, and lodging). If you wish to apply, please do so pronto! We hope to see you there.

Questions about the conference? Email Krissy Keys at kkeys@aynrand.org.

On October 15, 2016 102 students from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, and the United States attended the third annual Ruta De Libertad: Retomando Las Raices, hosted by Estudiente Por La Libertad Guatemala. The conference was located bout 220 miles north west of the nation’s capital in Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. This was the first conference located outside the capital, representing he burgeoning effort to spread ideas in a decentralized way. What drew students hundreds of miles away, from all across Latin America? Liberty.

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ESFL Promotion on Television.

The conference was organized by Mariana Cordon, an International Relations student at Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Local Coordiantor Rey Rodriguez, an architecture student at Universidad de Occidente, and other members of the EsLibertad team . Their efforts prove libertarianism is as popular in Central and South America as it is in North America. Eager students got the opportunity to listen to ten speakers on topics ranging from a poetry and freedom of expression to the knowledge and planning problems of socialism to successful student activism. No stone was left unturned.

The day before the conference, Rey appeared on local TV and radio, and went from classroom to classroom at his university to promote the event. When asked why this event warranted so much effort, Rey Rodriguez said, “going to the roots was the event that all liberals in the country needed to understand the current lack of freedom, take on new challenges, set new goals and grow as individuals.” EsLibertad members Keila Yuwono, Byron Hernández, Geovanny Cannel, Oscar MuñozNo further advertised the conference through radio.

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Student activism panel.

Guatemala’s economic freedom has suffered and the country is going through turbulent times. Like many Latin American countries, Guatemala struggles with narcotics trafficking, poorly defined property rights, political corruption, and lagging private investment. All of the country’s problems stem from an overall lack of rule of law.

In August 2016 protesters were out in Constitution Square with signs that read “NO MORE TAXES!” in response to tax hikes on cement and gasoline. All this amid heightened tensions after Former President Otto Pérez Molina, an ex-Army general, and his Vice President Roxana Baldetti were arrested on charges of corruption in 2015.

Estudiente Por La Libertad recognizes the rent seeking behavior in their government and want to move toward an economically freer future. They want more foreign investment, more global trade, and more prosperity for everyone. Status quo politics will not bring about a free, prosperous Guatemala, however. That requires libertarian public policy.

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Pep Barcacel

But liberty is about more than just economic freedom. “Liberty is the most natural quality for human beings and it should not be taken away from anyone. More important than political freedom, we must have social freedom,” says director for Estudiantes por la Libertad in El Salvador, Sarah Arevalo Rodriguez.

Pep Barcacel, a Universidad Francisco Marroquin graduate, poet, and author, spoke about freedom of speech, Hunter S. Thompson’s influence, and his work for Nomada. In keeping with the theme of art’s effect on social change, which Sarah Arevalo Rodriguez knows all too well, ESFL is trying to break the old world mentality that keeps sex and marijuana taboo, with efforts to End The Drug War and promote sexual freedom. Nude photographs could be seen hanging all over the hotel which hosted the conferences after-party, courtesy of Ricardo Arroyo, a Guatemalan photographer and student.

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Chris Lingle accepting the Jamale’l.

EsLibertad Guatemala also presented, for the first time, the “Jamale’l” award, (which means “Freedom” in Kaqchikel). With this annual award, ESFL seeks to give recognition to the work of those who have dedicated their lives to spreading the ideas of liberty. This year, Christopher Lingle, a Visiting Professor of Economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala, received the honor.

In the words of Regional Director Mariana Cordón, “this award represents exactly what we focused on doing for the Conference. Remember the importance of the roots of liberty, in order to understand our present, and thus, understand the path we shall take to work for that freedom every person needs to prosper and go in the pursuit of their personal sense of happiness”.

Some of the other experiences offered by the conference was a historic walking tour of Quetzaltenango, Belly Dancers, poetry readings, and live music. The event only cost 35q and the fee covered lunch, a room at the hostel, and a round trip bus ride from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango.

The Regional Conference in Quetzaltenango exceeded everyone’s expectations, and for good reason. The liberty movement in Guatemala and Latin America is growing stronger with every passing semester because the students are making the future of their countries a personal matter.


This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, visit our guest submissions page