Category Archives: Events

Recap: 2013 SFL Dallas Regional Conference

Saturday afternoon, I attended the 2013 Students for Liberty Dallas Regional Conference in Denton at the University of North Texas.

ALL co-founder Roderick Long (above) spoke on the connection between free(d) markets and radical leftism, showing how they complement one another.

He generously gave his time for an interview beforehand. In the clip below, he addresses whether libertarians oversimplify the importance of liberty and neglect the values of equality and fraternity, what a free market might look like and how quickly the transition would occur, whether a free market can exist, and the importance of remembering how pervasive intervention on behalf of business remains.

Sharon Harris, president of the Advocates for Self-Government, spoke on effective communications strategies. For me, her foremost points were first to do no harm, be a good neighbor (and example), comprehend and echo people’s concerns when establishing rapport, explain the benefits rather than features of liberty, tell people’s stories, and be optimistic.

Harris went into more detail what each point meant, but an answer to an audience question was most moving. She told an appalling story of a man traveling in an overcrowded boat across the shark-invested waters from Haiti to the United States. With little provisions, the passengers who survived narrowly landed but were promptly met by government agents who took the immigrants into custody. On a boat meant to hold no more than a dozen people, the 20 or so survivors could hardly support themselves by their own power once on land. Their clothes were soggy and disheveled from the voyage. As the man Harris spoke of was being processed and his possessions were taken, agents discovered he had tightly bundled a suit under his clothes to keep dry. The waterproof packaging had held. The man explained he intended to exchange his drab clothes with the suit to attend job interviews. The man wanted nothing more than to support his family and make a better life for himself. Having successfully risked everything, his compassion and drive were rewarded with pointed callousness and dull indifference as he was returned to Haiti shortly afterward. Harris said stories like this get people to reexamine their assumptions, giving them reasons why liberty is important to their values too. She said freedom is what makes other worthwhile human values possible, so indeed champions of liberty should be proud of their work.

There were many other notable speakers, but my time was limited. Attendees were offered books and apparel for no charge. A table co-sponsored by the OU Students for a Stateless Society and the OU Young Americans for Liberty was well attended, offering complimentary pamphlets by notable left-libertarians.

The next local SFL conference is in Austin on Nov. 9 with Molinari Institute researcher Dan D’Amico and the upbeat Jeffrey Tucker.

Recap: Tarrant Libertarians Attend Gay Pride Parade, Awarded for Float

The Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association hosted the largest GLBT pride parade in the county Saturday afternoon. Of the approximately 40 floats that participated, the county Libertarian Party was awarded best in show among non-profits, even with some final-hour alterations needing to be made.

I wasn’t able to attend the full day of events, but I did capture a few interviews with members of the county LP.

Pride Week extends from Oct. 3 to the Oct. 13. Founded in 1981, the association is meant to provide an open and safe environment for GLBT individuals and supporters to celebrate.

Recap: Peace Rally in Fort Worth

I attended the third consecutive week of rallies against war in Syria on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Sundance Square in Fort Worth.

Considering the city is hub of numerous military programs, I expected more objectors, but hardly found any. A passerby who was a veteran of the first Gulf War, requesting to be off-camera, said he didn’t believe there was much chance for overt American military action being taken. In the first week of the rally, as many as 60 people attended, but the rally capped out at about 10 on this evening, perhaps because the chances of direct American military action seems less certain.

I was able to record a few interviews with participants in the rally.

An officer on a bike patrol around Sundance Square (a so-called public-private partnership) made two brief encounters, once asking if we were part of a group and a second time directing us to move a camera tripod’s foot resting on Sundance Square property. A portion of the second encounter (below) was caught on video.

Event: 2013 SFL Dallas Regional Conference

palmer

The 2013 Students for Liberty Dallas Regional Conference is being hosted in October on the University of North Texas campus. There is no charge of registration, and attendees will have the chance to meet speakers and other local activists.

ALL co-founder Professor Roderick Long of Auburn University has confirmed to speak and Tom Palmer, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and director of Cato University, is the keynote of the day-long conference.

Where: University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle, Denton, TX 76203

When: Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/1397629973789417/

Registration: http://studentsforliberty.org/event/dallas-regional-conference/

Recap: Peaceful Streets Project DFW (05/03/2013)

This video was shot in association with Dallas Cop Block in downtown Dallas around DART’s West End Station.

Fortunately, the evening was pretty quiet. The police seemed aware of our presence but didn’t confront us. Witnesses informed us the arrest in the second part of the video was made for public intoxication.

Several pedestrians told us how much they appreciate what we were doing and that they were surprised to learn that they are free to film police encounters as well. So even though we don’t witness any overt forms of police misconduct, this activity is still of value in educating the public and creating a culture where people expect accountability from public officials.