Madsen Pirie, President of the Adam Smith Institute:
The recently-formed Liberty League scored a major success with its first Freedom Forum in Birmingham. There have been many student libertarian and Hayek societies, some going back many years, even decades. They tend to flourish while their leading lights are at university, then hibernate when the enthusiasts leave.
Spotting this, three student members of TNG, James Lawson, Will Hamilton and Anton Howes, acting entirely on their own initiative, conceived the idea of an umbrella organization to act as a focus for student libertarian societies, and Liberty League was born.
It quickly gained the support of the International Students for Liberty group, and the goodwill and patronage of several like-minded think tanks and personnel. They put in maximum effort to make a success of the first Freedom Forum in Birmingham (aided by generous contributions from the IEA and the Freedom Association), and managed to recruit 85 attendees plus several supporting speakers. The weekend conference was a huge success and has put Liberty League firmly on the map as the focus for student libertarian organizations.
The Liberty Leaguers have already started work on the big annual Libertarian Conference to be held at London’s National Liberal Club in late autumn. This is a most welcome addition to the fight for freedom, and congratulations all round are due to James, Will and Anton. Good work, guys!
Will Hamilton, co-founder of the Liberty League:
The start of the month (April 1–3) marked the first annual Liberty League Freedom Forum. It was an overwhelming success. One hundred young freedom lovers and 20 speakers converged on Birmingham for three days of lectures, panels and workshops. The aim of the conference was to provide young interested minds with new ideas, as well as to develop their skills, so as to be better able to spread their enthusiasm for liberty.
However, so much more than this was achieved; the atmosphere was unlike any other due to the enthusiasm of the attendees. During the breaks spontaneous circles of chairs emerged. The contagious level of friendliness between the guests naturally flowed into the night. I barely managed an hour’s sleep and with a firm grasp of Birmingham’s 80’s club scene, I can confirm the strong social dynamic.
“Brilliant conference! My head is still ringing with very interesting thoughts and lack of sleep”
For those who chose to catch an early night, the days were just as exciting. We packed in a whole variety of renowned speakers on both civil liberties, as well as talks on the technical aspects of creating and managing Liberty based societies. I was not alone in my enjoyment; 100% of the attendees said that they enjoyed the conference and that they would recommend it to a friend.
“Some of our American brethren (you know who) use the word ‘rockstars’ far too much, but you lot really are.”- Oliver Cooper
If you missed out there is no need to worry though, as Liberty League is hosting a conference in October, and plans for Forum Forum 2012 are in motion!