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 libertarian 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, untracked firearms, even private assassins, 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 to show the documentary “Deep Web” and have a Q&A session with Alex Winters, the films 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 the other side of the story about the “Deep Web”, something the media regularly demonizes in its reporting. I, joined by Charity Hayden, Minnesota’s state chair of Young Americans for Liberty, opened the event, and talked about some upcoming events we have planned.
In the audience were a group of students who previously weren’t much involved in the liberty movement's, who are currently in the process of starting a liberty-minded student organization here at Hamline. We consider that a major success that 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.