Young Americans for Liberty
|Type||Student Organization, 501(c)(3)|
|Cliff Maloney Jr.|
Director of Programs & Operations
|Affiliations||Students for Ron Paul, Campaign for Liberty, Youth for Ron Paul|
|Slogan||Winning on principle|
Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is a 501(c)(3) organization that was formed in 2008 at the end of Congressman Ron Paul's presidential campaign. They focus on educating their peers about various topics including libertarian values, especially freedom of speech, and emphasizing the role of the Constitution in the American government.
During the 2008 Presidential election, Republican Representative Ron Paul stirred a large grassroots movement, especially on college campuses around the United States. As a result of this, students began to form organizations on campus under the banner of Students for Ron Paul.
After the election, the movement continued and eventually splintered off to create Young Americans for Liberty, which expanded into a broader effort to support liberty.
Young Americans for Liberty has hosted several national events since its inception: Bringing Ron Paul to college campuses, protesting the War in Iraq, protesting the Transportation Security Administration — which received substantial recognition online, hosting political boot camps, promoting the Constitution, protesting the government to reduce the National debt of the United States, and pushing for members to attend CPAC.
Meanwhile, to raise awareness about liberty-minded beliefs, each chapter performs a variety of events on campus, including fundraising for liberty-minded causes, hosting speakers, or tabling/protesting. For example, beginning in March 2011, Young Americans for Liberty groups protested U.S. military intervention in Libya. Besides protests, bringing speakers that are essential towards the liberty movement are invited by Young Americans for Liberty groups, such as Ron Paul, Thomas E. Woods, Justin Amash, and Gary Johnson.
Since 2009, Young Americans for Liberty has hosted annual National Conventions in Arlington, Virginia. The 2014 YAL National Convention was the organization's largest yet, with more than 300 students in attendance. Speakers included Sen. Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and a video address by Glenn Greenwald. The 2016 convention included speakers such as Reps. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Judge Andrew Napolitano, and Cato’s David Boaz. The national conventions have rapidly grown in size since the beginning, with each having more attendees than the last. The 2009 convention had 60 attendees and the 2016 convention had 382 attendees.
Visualize the Debt
In March–April 2011, Young Americans for Liberty held their largest event-to-date, reminding college campuses and their local communities of the massive federal debt. Over 70 Young Americans for Liberty chapters participated in the event, which received nationwide press. The event was designed to protest the federal government to push towards lowering the National Debt by presenting petitions to members of Congress.
Federal lawsuit against the University of Hawaii
During the February 19, 2010 CPAC panel, 2 Minute Activist: Saving Freedom Across America, Students For Liberty's Alexander McCobin opened his remarks by thanking the American Conservative Union for welcoming GOProud as a co-sponsor of the event. California Young Americans for Freedom chairman Ryan Sorba followed with less than kind words for McCobin, Students For Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty's Jeff Frazee, and the American Conservative Union condemning the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for inviting GOProud.
In 2011, the official University of North Texas chapter of the YAL protested a potential outdoor smoking ban on campus by handing out cigarettes in an effort to get students to sign a petition opposing the ban. When university officials reprimanded them, the group claimed they would seek legal aid and that restrictions on handing out the cigarettes was a violation of their First Amendment rights. The group collected 206 signatures for the petition. The university implemented the smoking ban at the beginning of 2013.
In a Facebook post perceived by YAL chapter leaders as an official blacklisting of Breitbart News Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos in May 2017, YAL National Field Director Ty Hicks urged chapter leaders not to invite the conservative firebrand to speak at their events. This came as a result of the YAL chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara defying a regional field director's instructions to prohibit Milo from promoting presidential candidate Donald Trump when he spoke at the university - which she believed could jeopardize the national organization's 501(c)3 non-profit status. The event proceeded with Milo asking audience members to address a cardboard cutout of Trump, and chapter members wearing pro-Trump clothing as they hand-carried Yiannopoulos into the event.
YAL claimed the staffers Facebook post did not constitute an official YAL position.
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- "National Events". Young Americans for Liberty. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
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- Reilly, Clarke (2014-04-26). "Hawaiian University Sued For Blocking Students From Passing Out Copies Of The Constitution". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Andrew Sullivan "The Weekend Wrap", , The Atlantic, February 22, 2010
- Michael C. Moynihan, "You Know the Lowlights. Here Are a Few Highlights from CPAC…Seriously", , Reason, February 21, 2010
- Mike Madden, "CPAC crowd boos homophobe off stage", , Salon.com, February 19, 2010
- Vita Brevis, "CPAC Civil War", , Daily Kos, February 19, 2010
- "CPAC speaker booed for APPLAUDING gay group invite", , The Daily Caller, February 19, 2010 Archived 26 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- William Upton, "Fear and Loathing at CPAC", , The American Conservative, February 22, 2010
- Heinz, Frank (2011-11-28). "UNT Students Hand Out Free Cigarettes to Protest Smoking Ban". Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- Ryan, Rebecca (2011-11-29). "Organization protests smoking ban". North Texas Daily. University of North Texas. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- Smajstrla, Ann (2011-12-01). "SGA fails to pass smoking ban referendum". North Texas Daily. University of North Texas. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- "UNT's Smoke-Free Campus Policy Overview". University of North Texas. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Mark Schierbecker (May 30, 2016). "Young Americans for Liberty backtracks after staffer says it has blacklisted Milo Yiannopoulos". The College Fix.