Past Activism at Wake YAL

Wake YAL has routinely engaged in activist ventures in the past. The first, and arguably one of the most successful, activist ventures by Wake YAL was the effort to bring Congressman Ron Paul to campus on April 20, 2009.[1] The group has also engaged in anti-war demonstrations, debates with other political organizations, and mass flyer postings around the campus, among other activities. For a more complete history of Wake YAL activism, see Past Activism.

Types of activism

Different forms of activism can be used to reach different groups of people. While a group should try to engage in broad forms of activism across the board, it can be helpful to have specific members assigned to specific forms of activism, depending on the respective abilities of each member.


Flyers can be be both used wonderfully and misused terribly. While flyering a campus or other public area, it must be kept in mind that the goal is to have a net positive effect. In other words, you don't just want to piss people off. Flyers for upcoming events are an obvious tool, but flyers can also be used as a form of activism that does not necessarily entail any event at all. In March of 2010, Wake YAL put up hundreds of flyers in Tribble Hall, containing the names of almost all of the soldiers who have died in Operation Enduring Freedom. The goal was to make war a personal issue for people by showing them the names,
hometowns, and causes of death for these soldiers. Effective flyers need to be able to get their message across in 2-3 seconds, as the majority of people will not be stopping to look for much longer than this. However, flyers can have smaller, more detailed information if they are part of a large series of flyers that are all related to one another and spread over a predetermined area.

Consider this flyer:

The big positive with this flyer is that it gets its main point across quickly -- government intervention in the economy does not work. The hope is that someone intrigued by this will stop to read more. This is not always effective as again, few people will actually stop. However, it is most useful as a recruiting tool.

Tips for Successful Activism

Here is a writing by famous organizer Saul Alinsky:

  1. ^ Brooks, Caitlin. "Ron Paul's Visit Rallies Libertarians." Old Gold & Black [Winston-Salem, NC] 23 Apr. 2009. Web. <>.