North America Blog

May 19, 2017

Freed 28 Years Early, Chelsea Manning Can Finally Go Home

Chelsea Manning was the first of her kind, bringing a new type of whistleblowing to the public eye. In 2010, Manning leaked an impressive number of documents detailing the way the U.S. military and government violated the rights of many. Via communication with Wikileaks and secret document-copying, she brought citizen bystander killings to light, exposed details of Guantanamo Bay detentions, and exposed the many ways in which corruption and secret alliances shape military action. Initially sentenced to 35 years, Manning’s sentence was commuted on January 17th of this year, in the final week of the Obama presidency. On a moral note, Manning’s release marks a time at which the Obama administration did something right. They prioritized compassion and humanity, in the end, instead of maintaining […]
May 12, 2017

Proving Art Has a Place in a Free Society

When we think about libertarians, the liberty movement, Capitol Hill and politics, very few people think about how the artists are getting involved.  Many times, they’re seen as a nuisance. What’s that dancer doing commenting on complex issues like capital gains tax and medical care markets? I hang out around a lot of artists and I collaborate with them on a daily basis. While a painting has never swayed my position on gun rights, artists are the most continuously passionate and motivated political activists in society. When they really discover their role, they can move mountains. So I wanted to launch an Art Gala about art in politics. Yes, when I pitched this event to a lot of people, I got a lot of blank […]
May 11, 2017

Osaka Steps Toward Accepting Same-Sex Families

In a move unprecedented by the central government, the city of Osaka, Japan granted a gay couple the ability to legally adopt a child. While no law officially stands preventing same-sex couples from adoption, their applications would usually be turned away unless they specifically adopted as individuals. While this at least allowed same-sex couples to raise a child, being unrecognized as a family presented them with a lack of legal representation. Additionally, the notion that an unmarried couple was unable to legally consider themselves a family most likely contributes to social isolation. LGBT rights activists have struggled to maintain a vocal presence in Japan. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, while overall hatred is not widespread, LGBT organizations are limited in how they […]
May 10, 2017

Time to Rethink North Korean Sanctions

Earlier this year, TV stations all over South Korea were ablaze with scenes of Pyongyang’s latest missile tests. It’s now clear that North Korea remains firmly resolute on pursuing a dangerous mission, even after nearly ten years of suffering the world’s disapproval on tests like this and on its human rights record. Yet, sanctions continue. The Obama Administration has issued newer, tougher sanctions, some of which have been approved by the U.N. Security Council. Supporters of sanctions hold onto the conviction that there’s a “tipping point” for the North Korean government. When that tipping point is reached, they’ll be forced to negotiate with the U.N. Nonetheless, there is no evidence which even hints North Korea will ever fold along these lines. The U.N. sanctions are a response to an entire decade […]
May 9, 2017

A Moral Imperative in East Europe

  We often talk about blow-back: when a military adventurism goes sour because of foreign retaliation. But we never apply it in the other direction: foreign governments facing consequences for their adventurism. In essence, this is what has happened in Eastern Europe. Russia invaded Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, and NATO deployed more troops to Eastern Europe in response. This wasn’t just a predictable response to aggression, it was also the right thing to do. We should not mistake failure to impose liberal ideals in a Middle East which rejected them forthright, with doom in an East Europe which embraced those ideals independently. After the end of the Cold War, countries in Eastern Europe broke from the Soviet Union and established their own liberal-democracies. A decision […]
May 8, 2017

North America:
April 2017 Update

  SFL North America APRIL 2017 UPDATE Speak Freely Summit Our largest event in April was a massive success. With over 200 registrants, the Speak Freely Summit provided an opportunity for liberty-minded people to collaborate on the best practices to further free speech on campuses throughout North America. We were honored to host Dave Rubin, Flemming Rose, Casey Given, Faisal Mutar, Sara Taksler, Rob Montz, and Jim Caruso as speakers at this special event alongside our Speak Freely Advocates. To read more about the Speak Freely Summit, check out a blog post written by one of our student leaders, Caitlyn Tierney, here! Free to Be Art Gala at NYU The Free to Be Art Gala took place in New York to stress the importance of […]
May 8, 2017

Can Libertarians Reclaim the Antiwar Position?

I used to view a military intervention as an isolated event with manageable negative consequences and that any regime change is good when the U.S. installs a leader allied with democracy. I was never a war-hawk, but I assumed that a group bent on destroying America and American freedom should be aggressively countered. More important than my lack of geo-political knowledge, however, was my assumption that the political left embodied the antiwar, and thus, anti-patriot, faction in political discussion. My views were considerably dated, as politics on both sides appears to have evolved towards embracing an aggressive foreign policy. Rather than the youth-in-revolt New Left ideologues I pictured, I encountered self-identified liberals and socialists claiming that our enemies must be destroyed through quick, violent action. More […]
May 4, 2017

Speak Freely Summit
A Day of Education in College Park

The following was written by Campus Coordinator and Speak Freely Advocate Caitlyn Tierney.  Last weekend, I traveled to College Park, Maryland for the first annual Speak Freely Summit, hosted by Students for Liberty. The conference was a fantastic melting pot of ideas and speakers, including commercial, political, and international points of view. We heard from Jim Caruso, CEO of Flying Dog Brewery, and learned the details of his fight to protect free speech in the craft brewing industry, despite pushback from the state of Michigan. Caruso was an engaging speaker, and the free samples of Flying Dog beer were a great bonus! gave a presentation on getting published in the liberty movement, including tips and advice to submit the best writing possible. It was awesome […]
May 1, 2017

Students Challenge Restrictive Speech Codes in Charleston

Students across the United States work tirelessly to promote the importance of free speech, and they often achieve important victories. For example, a student from Blinn College was told by administrators that she needed “special permission” to display gun rights signs. FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) undertook the student’s case, sued the school, and won! This instance shows that students can successfully fight for free speech and make a difference, and College of Charleston students are doing just that. Students for Reason, Individualism, Value Pursuit, and Enterprise (STRIVE) and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) at College of Charleston have spearheaded several initiatives – with the help of Students for Liberty’s Speak Freely Grant – to reform their speech codes. The clubs’ efforts have […]
April 27, 2017

The Spirit That Drives Students For Liberty

By Yaël Ossowski In the course of fulfilling our day-to-day tasks related to Students For Liberty and the broader movement to advocate for economic and social liberties, it is oft forgotten to take a step back and reflect on the beauty and success of what we’ve created. Whether in the wee hours of the night in meetings with colleagues, the long and arduous weekends at retreats and conferences that test the elasticity of the portions of our brains that memorize faces and names, or the endless weeks of toil that go into planning a long-term project or event, we are often so deeply imbedded in the execution of our work that we simply become blind to the totality of our accomplishments. What makes Students For Liberty […]
April 17, 2017

United States: Come to FreedomFest with SFL!
July 19 – 22

FREEDOMFEST: EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS FreedomFest is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and this annual gathering in Las Vegas never fails to being together some of the top minds in both the business world and the libertarian world. The theme this year is “Exploring New Frontiers”, celebrating the bold ways of adapting to an ever-changing world. These three-and-a-half days are some of the most exciting of the summer, filled with panels, speeches, debates, and social opportunities galore! Some of the speakers include William Shatner, Steve Forbes, Jennifer Grossman of the Atlas Society, and Students For Liberty CEO, Wolf von Laer! JOIN US AT FREEDOMFEST We’ll be at FreedomFest in Las Vegas this July and we want you to join us there! Students For Liberty has […]
April 13, 2017

Today in History: Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday

Three Surprising Facts About Thomas Jefferson APRIL 13 – On this day, in 1743, Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia. Despite being the third president of the United States, second vice-president and first secretary of state, he is most celebrated as the drafter of the Constitution and one of the most influential thinkers of all time. In commemoration of his esteemed position in libertarian thought, here are three things you may not have known about Thomas Jefferson. 1. Thomas Jefferson was Anarchy-minded It might seem a little strange to classify the author of a social contract an anarchist, but this simply adds to the pragmatic and reasonable approach to political compromise.  According to Jefferson, if a populus trusts people to govern with authority, they […]