Secessionism Redivivus?

Secessionist movements alive and well in post-election America

Most Southerners have a soft spot in their hearts for the cause of secession. After all, we’re taught it in our history books how our forefathers twice exercised this right; successfully in 1776, and unsuccessfully in 1861. Now, thanks the all of the Democratic wrangling over the re-election of President Bush, talk of secession and secessionist movements has begun anew:

The push for the Second Vermont Republic is no anomaly. Today there are secession movements afoot in Hawaii and Alaska, both complaining, with some validity, that fraud and coercion forced their entrance into the union. In New York, activist and author Jason Flores-Williams, lately best known for his disruptions at the Republican National Convention, plans a New York City secession movement ‘as much Andy Warhol as it is Tom Paine,’ he says, predicting his ‘secession parties’ will become ‘the most happening cultural events in NYC, events that echo up and down the hierarchy.’

Flores-Williams might consider contacting the people at Republic of Atlantica, which imagines a seaboard megalopolis nation stretching from Boston to Washington, D.C. Three thousand miles to the west, the Republic of Cascadia seeks to comprise Oregon, Washington and British Columbia as the country ‘whose software is on 97 percent of the world’s computers.’ The group’s Web site warns, ‘For too long have our people put up with indifference and condescendence from distant seats of power.’

Most recently, on Nov. 15, a former evangelical minister from California named Jeff Morrissette announced the founding of the Committee to Explore California Secession, or Move On California. California as a nation, Morrissette notes, would be the world’s fifth-largest economy — larger than those of China, France, Italy and Canada. Among Morrissette’s ‘train of abuses’ is the brazen piracy of the California energy crisis in 2000 and 2001, which resulted in $9 billion in overcharges to consumers — ‘economic sabotage,’ as Morrissette describes it, engineered by Enron and other energy traders close to the Bush administration.

“I’m not sure that secession is legal or constitutional,” Morrissette says. “But I would certainly draw an analogy to the colonists and King George. The colonists didn’t ask. They simply declared it done.” He adds: “The legality and constitutionality are really a moot point. New nations are born by a declaration of independence.

Interesting article, and a long one at that. I really wasn’t aware there were so many secessionist movements in America, nor that the movement in Vermont was so strong.

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