When President Barack Obama stumped for Democrats at Wayne State University in Michigan recently, he was greeted by a relativity small but rambunctious group of libertarian college students and other like-minded individuals who faced down strict cops and angry Obama fans to get their side out to the throng of loyal Democrats.
Ty Hicks, a student at Central Michigan University and Michigan state chair of Young Americans for Liberty, tells his side of the story in a blog post, where he describes how his group was met Saturday with “heavy resistance” – including security who reportedly refused to allow them on the campus. But they kept up the good fight, anyway. There were about a dozen students and about 40 conservative and pro-liberty activists.
The local police department was ordered to work with the Secret Service, and they claimed that the entire block where Obama was having his speech was “federal property” although it was at a public state university! While the pro-democratic participants were allowed to hand out literature where all of the people were, those of us with a different view had our First Amendment rights limited to the other side of the street, well away from the speech and the people. But we didn’t give up that easily.
So the college students and others moved to the end of the street where there was a smaller police presence and handed out their fliers to those waiting in line, according to Hicks. The fliers – which were a satirical program of the event – accused Obama of hurting young people with his policies and violating the Constitution. It also decried the use of drones and the war on drugs, among other complaints.
Obama’s speech drew an estimated crowd of 6,000, and Hicks said the fake programs he and others passed out caused a stir among those waiting in line. Some yelled at the group and issued threats, “but it was just more energy for us to feed on,” Hicks stated.
“They were issuing some serious threats, and at some point, one guy even threatened me physically,” Hicks tells The College Fix. “Lots of angry people for sure.”
Later the group tried to picket the president’s appearance, but say they were blocked from walking on the campus. Hicks writes:
At all costs, we were kept off of the property even though we were peaceful at all times. Although our constitutional rights were violated over and over again, we made sure others would learn of it.
IMAGE: Ty Hicks, Young Americans for Liberty