For Incarceration Nation, YAL at The College of Southern Nevada plans on doing several large scale demonstration/tabling events. Our first event had no shortage of hiccups, but I believe it was successful.
The first mistake we made was choosing April 1st as our date. I did expect that people might mistakenly thing we where doing some prank, but once they got close enough, it would be obvious that we had a serious reason for being on campus. What I did not expect was the massive amount of absent students. I have never seen the campus so empty. Our exposure was pretty minimal due to this.
Secondly, a failure in communication resulted in us not having our jail cell wall for photos. This was a major bummer, as it was the highlight of the event. Luckily, I had something else planned as well.
As you can see in the photos, three of our members dressed up like convicts, each holding a sign with one of the facts from the Incarceration Nation post cards written on them. Two more of us manned a table with all the literature, and our other two members present acted to bring people to our table, patrolling the area and striking up conversations with anyone who would listen.
Despite the lack of our jail cell, which we put lots of effort into making, and despite the low foot traffic on campus that day, within two hours every post card we had was filled, most of our literature was handed out and I now have a page of names of people who would have liked to fill our post cards, had we had anymore for them.
If there is one thing that we can be certain about, it's that people really care about this issue. When you try talking to Americans, especially students, about the state of our prison system, people have a lot to say and are willing to hear what others have to say as well.
We are planning several more Incarceration Nation events through the month of April.