With the unrest happening in Egypt and other countries in the region many people are asking if a revolution could ever happen in the US of A. Some Americans, however, have been planning such a movement for years to rebel against what they consider the injustices of the US government.
During the Civil War the Confederate States wanted to leave America so they could continue to own and trade humans. However there are lots of reasons why Americans may want to secede from the union even today, from religious views and environmental views to not wanting to live in the same country as Glenn Beck. The Second Republic of Vermont group even wants to return Vermont to its independent status. Here are a few examples of some of the most unique secession movements currently in the United States.
South Carolina’s Christian Exodus
Are you sick of the morally corrupt US government? Do you think Lindsay Lohan, The Jersey Shore and Obama are a sign of America’s moral depravity? Do you yearn for a more Christian nation? Then South Carolina’s Christian Exodus movement might be right for you.
According to their website “The initial goal was to move thousands of Christian constitutionalists to South Carolina to accelerate the return to self-government based upon Christian principles at the local and State level…. with the ultimate goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.” South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union during the American Civil War and ever since then it has seen strong pro secession movements.
Christian Exodus has a plan for this time to be successful and claims to have had a full 15 families move to Anderson, South Carolina, falling slightly short of their goal of twelve thousand people making the relocation. Christian Exodus founder Cory Burnell was unable to move to South Carolina from California himself after a job opportunity fell through there when his potential employer found out about his secessionist political views. The group now focuses on helping Christians form a “personal secession.”
The Nation of Cascadia
Do you think the US and Canada don’t do enough to protect our civil liberties? Do you want to give the power back to the people? Do you want to protect an environmentally sensitive bioregion? Then strap on your Birkenstocks and move to the North West would-be nation of Cascadia. This proposed independent country would be formed in the wake of the secession of Washington state and Oregon from the USA and the province of British Columbia from Canada.
According to the Cascadia Now website “Aside from having an inter-connected bioregional infrastructure in fishing, forestry, transportation and disaster preparation, Cascadia has the facilities and technical expertise to produce a wide range of state of the art fighter, support, and commercial aircraft, as well as being home to some of the world’s leading software, manufacturing and biotechnological industries.” Several serious attempts to organize an effort for Cascadian independence have occurred in the past decade, including the formation of the Cascadian National Party in September 2001. In 2005 the Cascadian Independence Project was launched. Basically, this is the opposite of Christian Exodus, a bunch of Seattle granola types want to start their own tree loving nation (not that there is anything wrong with that).
The People’s Republic of North Star
Do you love Communism as much as you love firearms? Are you sick of The Man forcing low wages on the majority? Are you ready to take up arms to stake your independence as a nation of the working class? Then The People’s Republic of North Star might be the secessionist movement for you. The group advocates the secession of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the upper peninsula of Michigan to form a Marxist-Leninist based country. According to its website “…we encourage all who support resistance, communism, socialism, as well as workers, engineers, farmers, educators, and others with knowledge of warfare, history, and improvised tactics, especially in urban settings, to join in posting meaningful information here for the proliferation of the peoples struggle.” This gave me the idea to form a Lennonist country formed on the worship of The Beatles. Eh? Eh? Yeah, just no. The Alaskan Independence Party
Are you an Alaskan who thinks you got shafted when Alaska became a state fifty years ago? Then The Alaskan Independence Party may be for you. The group got a lot of attention during the 2008 US Presidential campaign when it was discovered that Sarah Palin’s husband Todd was a former member of the group. The political party boasts that it is the third largest in Alaska with over thirteen thousand members.
According to its website the group supports “…advocacy for state's rights, through a return to territorial status, all the way to complete independence and nationhood status for Alaska.” One of their goals is to have the vote they were supposed to get in 1958 (which they feel they didn’t get fairly), featuring these four choices: 1) Remain a Territory. 2) Become a separate and Independent Nation. 3) Accept Commonwealth status. 4) Become a State. Using Alaska’s vast resources, they feel they could be a prosperous nation better able to protect Alaskans' freedoms. A question and answer section on the Alaskan Independence Party site informs concerned Alaskans on such things as if Alaska becomes an independent country would I still be able to get my social security check?
The Republic of Lakotah
Are you a member of the Native American Lakotah tribe? Do you feel you are living under a colonial apartheid system? Do you think the United States government has egregiously violated the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie? Then The Republic of Lakotah might be the secessionist movement for you! The Lakotah claim that areas covering thousands of square miles in the current states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana encompass lands that are rightfully theirs.
On December 17th, 2007, the group declared independence from the USA, even going as far as to travel to Washington, DC and deliver the message to the State Department. According to their website the group is not seceding from the United States, but seeking "a completely lawful 'unilateral withdrawal' from the Treaties as permitted under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, of which the United States is a signatory.” Lakotah activist Russell Means, however, wasn’t sure what the next step to independence would be saying, "I don't expect the federal government to do anything. I don't believe they even know what to do."
Are you sick of the government but can’t think of a better one? Do you wish to only be held accountable to English Common Law? Do you owe a lot of money to the IRS and are looking for a way to claim that those taxes are illegitimate? Then you might want to declare yourself a sovereign citizen! According to the Southern Poverty Law Center there are around 300,000 people in the USA who claim to be sovereign citizens. Most of these walking independent nations don’t bother anyone as long as they don’t break any laws (like not paying their taxes) of the current “repressive regime.”
However one such would-be sovereign citizen was put at odds with his day job. If you are a police detective how are you supposed to uphold the law of the land if you declare yourself outside the jurisdiction of the land? A Sarasota, Florida detective Tom Laughlin was fired after he went to the courthouse and filed a homemade document declaring himself sovereign from the United States. According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, “Laughlin's beliefs put him directly at odds with his superiors, who had begun to watch out for sovereign citizens.” Let’s back it up a moment here. Sovereign citizens are such a problem in Sarasota that the police are watching out for them? Maybe they should watch out as former detective Laughlin’s own brother, also a “free man,” berated a state trooper who had pulled him over, declaring that state laws don’t apply to him and that the officer had better drop the citation or he would sue him for 32 million dollars. Which should be interesting, as how is he going to sue someone in a civil court that he doesn’t recognize as legitimate? So why not try and form your own independent country?
You can claim independent status for your dorm room, office cubicle or suburban home like that episode of Family Guy where Peter Griffin forms “Petoria.” If you’d like to learn more on starting your own secessionist movement check out The Middlebury Institute, which offers support for the varying proposed new nations (conventions there might get awkward if more than one group’s land claims overlap the others).
What are some of your favorite examples of secession movements? What are some reasons you’d like to secede?