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September was a busy month at Students For Liberty. Read the highlights of what our North American team have been up to!

Deep Web Screenings take place across North America

maxresdefaultOn September 27th, Students For Liberty teamed up with Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Sensible Drug Policy to bring North American students the Campus Debut of Deep Web. The movie tells the story of Ross Ulbricht’s efforts to create the “Silk Road” online market, which ended with his 2013 arrest.

Due to the manner in which the government collected its evidence to incriminate Ross, controversy still surrounds the ruling, and members of the #FreeRoss movement are demanding his release. Ross’s story touches on a number of important issues for modern libertarians, including the drug war, Internet privacy, non-state institutions, and exciting new technologies like crypto-currency.

For a personal touch, we also hosted a live, post-screening interview with Ross’s mother Lyn Ulbricht and the Director of Deep Web, Alex Winter!

The screenings were even more successful than we originally predicted, with over 150 taking place across North America! Read more about some of the screenings by clicking here.

Regional Conference season launches!

FUTUREofFREEDOM_RC2016_twitterPostSeptember saw the launch of our 2016 Regional Conference season, which aims to explore the future of freedom in a variety of areas. With individual themes ranging from anarchism to free market environmentalism, these conferences are giving North American students a taste of libertarian ideas and the liberty movement in general. With our first conferences already experiencing success in terms of attendance numbers and high-profile speakers, we’re looking forward to reporting on the rest of the conference season!

Hunger VenezuelaMyth-busting the “success” of socialism in Venezuela with #PorUnaVenezuelaLibre

Following the Venezuelan government’s kidnapping of long-time SFL friend Yon Goicoechea, our friends in EsLibertad helped reignite our #PorUnaVenezuelaLibre (For A Free Venezuela) campaign.

Students For Liberty has been promoting a petition to #FreeYon in North America and beyond, whilst helping to inform the general public about the horrific failures of socialism in Venezuela through our social media campaign.

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Duquesne students watching the “Deep Web” documentary.

On September 27th, Duquesne University’s Liberty Alliance (which is affiliated with Students For Liberty) joined dozens of student organizations from schools all across the country in screening Alex Winter’s new film, “Deep Web”. Enticed by promises of interesting discussion topics and free pizza, five current alliance members and three newcomers attended the 8 PM screening in Fisher Hall. After the film, a short Q&A session with Lyn Ulbricht and Alex Winter gave the viewers a remarkable opportunity to engage with the ideas and story of the film on a much more personal level.

The film impressed the entire audience, and each member learned a substantial amount of information surrounding the technology, philosophy, and legal history of the deep web. Roos Ulbricht’s tragic story reminded each member of the importance of our fight for individual liberty, and his passionate stances for freedom of choice inspired the group profoundly.

The event was very successful, as each member enjoyed the film and opportunity to engage with new ideas. Surprisingly, the newcomers originally attended the event after noticing Alex Winter would be giving a live Q&A. They noticed the event’s advertisement in the university’s weekly event emails, and were all big fans of Alex. After our discussion, the newcomers walked away with some serious enthusiasm for the philosophy of liberty!

A couple weeks ago, the State University of New York at Oswego participated in the Deep Web Screening event that YAL had put on! We had a great turnout, and many people did not know anything about the Dark Web or the black market Silk Road. Students were able to gain knowledge on these topics and after we had good conversations flowing. I think many people found this event to be really useful and open themselves up to other topics that are not talked about in today’s politics. We can’t wait to do more events on campus to help students get involved with politics and spread the liberty message. Thanks to Students For Liberty and SSDP for helping make this event possible!

We forgot to take pictures because we were so involved and focused on the screening; YAL has encouraged everyone to come to our next event which was to watch the second Presidential town hall debate. We hope that the Deep Web Screening has helped get our organization’s name out there to all the new students, especially because we are newly recognized by the school. Overall we had positive feedback from the student body that did come to the event, and they mentioned that they really enjoyed it!

 

maxresdefaultOn Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Rocky Mountain College Young Americans For Liberty (YAL) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) was able to successfully host a Hollywood premiere of Alex Winter’s Deep Web movie with the help from a grant from Students For Liberty (SFL).

To host a successful student event on campus, it takes time and energy, but food can also help. As far as the planning, it took a few combined weekly meetings with Rocky’s SSDP and YAL to put together this movie night. After both clubs talked it over and decided this is an event we definitely wanted to have on campus, we delegated simple tasks to individual club members. One member was in charge of booking the room for the event, one member made posters and a Facebook event page, and one member was in charge of talking to campus facilities to ensure WiFi and an Ethernet cable would be available in the room we were hosting the event in. From there, it was all about advertising.

Everyone in the club was emailed the event poster so as a team, we were able to utilize the school’s free printing and hang up posters in almost every popular area of the school including the gym, main classroom buildings, student center, and dorm housing buildings. Next, during lunches, we sat down with different groups of people and told them about our event. A few of us also messaged people on Facebook to personally invite them to the event.

We had a successful event in the end, with multiple students from various majors. By the end of the movie screening and the live Q&A with Lyn Ulbricht and Deep Web director Alex Winters, everyone was genuinely interested in Ross Ulbricht’s trial and the politics of the deep web. We had a brief discussion about internet securities afterwards and advertised our club. Overall, it was a great opportunity to learn about liberty and eat some great food!

[This post was written by SSDP Hamline University President Gunnar Aas.]

I first had the opportunity to see Lyn Ulbricht speak at a Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference in Washington D.C. last spring. Ulbricht is a libertari1an activist who is fighting for the release of her incarcerated son Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving a life sentence for allegedly operating the Silk Road, the first wildly successful “Darknet Market”, an internet service where users can buy and sell goods, regardless of their legality, using Bitcoin. Drugs were all now available to anyone with the click of a button. This one small idea ended up changing the face of prohibition, and served as a simulation of an economic system unburdened by the systemic use of force.

Our student organization was excited to host an event that would shed light on the topic of Ross’s tragic case. We were thrilled when we heard about this collaborative event between Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Young Americans for Liberty, and Students for Liberty. We could show the documentary “Deep Web” and hold a live Q&A session with Alex Winters (the film’s director) and Lyn Ulbricht.

On the night of the showing, students poured into our rented lecture hall, hungry for dinner, and ready to learn about Deep Web’s alternative perspective on the Silk Road story: something the media regularly demonizes in its reporting. I was joined by Charity Hayden, Minnesota’s state chair of Young Americans for Liberty, in order to open the event, and also promote some upcoming events we have planned.

In the audience were a group of students who previously weren’t particularly involved in the liberty movement. They are now in the process of starting a liberty-minded student organization here at Hamline. We consider that a major success; our event had the ability to enlighten our peers, and inspire them to get involved in the wider movement for a transition to a society truly built on liberty and justice.