Dreamin’ of independence from Trump’s America

Our LA chapter co-chair, Linda Daly, writes for the SF Chronicle on how the election of Donald Trump prompted her to work for Californian independence.

I had not been politically active on the national level in years. Sure, I voted for whom I felt best represented my position, but sometimes it was just to retain the right to complain about anyone in office. I grew tired of candidates spouting the same rhetoric, and of lobbyists controlling Washington. I was really tired of looking for a progressive candidate who would have my back. I longed for one of the smaller parties to grow enough to challenge our old two-party system.

This past election, I voted for Hillary Clinton. It was exhilarating to watch the returns with my two teens, a son who voted for the first time and a 17-year-old daughter who volunteered for Clinton, until the moment our joy crumbled.

How could so many blue states allow someone like Donald Trump to win?

Read more: http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Dreamin-of-independence-from-Trump-s-America-10952325.php

An independent California? In the age of Trump, some want just that

From The New Daily, in Australia

An independent California would be a progressive powerhouse that could rival the world’s largest economies, according to supporters of a growing breakaway movement.

Calls for an independent California – dubbed ‘#Calexit’ – have grown louder since Donald Trump swept to power in November, prompting serious coverage in American news media.

With the President’s hardline immigration policies and climate skepticism considered an anathema to the West Coast’s diverse, progressive population, two political movements are fronting an emboldened push for California to secede from the union.

The California National Party, modelled on Scotland’s SNP, sees itself as part of a proud Californian independence tradition.

Read more: http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2017/02/23/californian-independence-movement/

California is different and Trump's election proves it

Telam, an Argentinian magazine, interviews Jay Rooney on the CNP and our path to independence.  Note that the article is in Spanish, the excerpt below was translated.  http://www.telam.com.ar/notas/201702/180488-california-independencia-partido-nacional-trump-migracion-jay-rooney.html

“…for every dollar that Californians pay in taxes, they get about 78 cents, when other states like Mississippi get between 2 and 4 dollars for every green bill paid.

“So California is subsidizing other states while our schools fail and our roads crumble, and this will remain the case as long as we remain part of the United States,” said the press secretary of the group that has just had the status Of a political party recognized by the authorities.

Rooney also argued that California has “low representation” in the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as not having a strong influence on the president’s election despite his 55 voters: “Donald Trump lost the popular vote for 2.9 million Votes, most of them from California. ”

“California is very different from the rest of the United States, and the recent election demonstrates this: at the same time that our American friends chose a racist and narcissistic tyrant as president, California passed a series of more progressive initiatives.”

The cultural and social axis is also a reason, he said, for independence: “Californians are united by shared history, ecology, culture and values, which are very different from the values ​​of the United States.”

“California highly values ​​freedom, diversity, inclusivity, innovation and compassion – all of which are in grave danger under the Trump Administration.”

A Successful Path to a Peaceful Secession

IndependentCalifornia.net looks at the key elements of peaceful independence movements:
http://independentcalifornia.net/portfolio-item/a-successful-path-to-a-peaceful-secession/

Robert young, a professor of political science, wrote an interesting paper about how peaceful secessions happen. In it, he analyzes various secessions from the past and theorized that the long term success of the peaceful ones depended on their fitting a general pattern.

He focuses mainly on three secession movements; Hungary from Austria in 1867, Norway from Sweden in 1905, and Singapore from Malaysia in 1965. It is interesting to note that, while they were considered peaceful, they weren’t without conflict — a Hungarian revolt was put down, there were threats of war between Norway and Sweden, and race riots sprang up in Singapore.

The pattern is as follows:

  1. Secession follows protracted constitutional and political disputes.
    It results from long periods of disagreement and crystallizes around a symbolic issue of principle.
  2. The secessor state declares its intent to withdraw.
  3. The predecessor state accepts the principle of secession: negotiations follow.
    This is usually a bitter and difficult decision, but one that marks the difference between contested secessions and peaceful ones.
  4. Secession is a momentous, galvanizing event.
    While “peaceful secession” gives the impression of tranquility, the aftermath can be a period of “disruption and uncertainty.”
  5. The government is broadened and strengthened on each side, and there is a premium on solidarity.
    The focus will be on the immediate need to reach a settlement.
  6. The negotiations involve few participants
  7. The settlement is made quickly
  8. The settlement involves a relatively short list of items
  9. Foreign powers play an important role
    International recognition is important for the new country and outside powers could be allies
  10. The secession is accomplished Constitutionally
    All peaceful secessions are accomplished through legal means
  11. There are no other substantial constitutional changes in either the seceding or the predecessor state
  12. Policies in the two states soon begin to diverge
  13. Secession is irrevocable

Californian Independence survey

The latest polling data shows over 13 million Californians support independence, but there’s not much data available about what unites this group. Please fill out this short survey on your background and priorities to help us better understand what you care about, track whether we are meeting our goal of building a diverse and inclusive movement, and improve our outreach efforts.

This survey is 100% confidential, and we will never share or sell your data.

Californians use SNP independence plan in bid to break away from USA

by Greg Russell, Journalist /

http://www.thenational.scot/politics/15023349.Californians_use_SNP_independence_plan_in_bid_to_break_away_from_USA/

THE independence-seeking California National Party (CNP) is basing its strategy on that used by the SNP in the 2014 referendum campaign as it works to become a recognized party with its own place on polling forms.

Jed Wheeler, vice chair of the CNP, was in Scotland as an indyref observer, and says he knows they are in it for the long haul.

He told The National: “When I was in Scotland in 2014 I interviewed an SNP organiser who was in his 80s and had spent his entire adult life working to build the movement for independence.

“I often tell that story to our new recruits to let them know we don’t expect this to be fast or easy, but we are in it for the long haul.

“We have to earn the trust of California’s people and convince them that independence will serve their interests.

“The latest polling shows only 22 per cent of Californians support the idea. The good news is that 22 per cent support for our party’s core mission is a great place to start for an insurgent political party, and we expect that number to grow rapidly once Trump takes office.”

The current CNP goal is to register as a political party – with the ultimate aim of achieving independence through negotiation –, which will require 63,000 signatures from voters.

“Once we reach that threshold we will become the first pro-independence party in California’s history to qualify for the ballot,” said Wheeler.

“CNP will go on the voter registration form as an option people can join just by checking a box instead of having to check ‘other’ and write us in, and our candidates will automatically qualify for the ballot for all races.

“We have until January of 2018 to reach that threshold for the 2018 elections. When we hit it we expect the shockwaves to help us grow very quickly.”

He said the party had already held a training call for canvassing team leads, and was planning a presence at the Women’s March protests across the US on January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. “The Los Angeles march should be the biggest of those and we are an official sponsor there and will have a booth and a visible presence,” he said.  “We believe the movement for a progressive and independent Republic of California can best be built by getting out and supporting progressive causes, and so we’ll be there to visibly support women’s rights and point out that in an independent Republic of California, women’s rights would finally be safe from the far-right politicians elected by America’s conservative heartland.

“From there, our strategy is  modeled very closely on the SNP. We aim to run a small group of dedicated and – this is important – highly qualified people for winnable local offices in 2018.

“One big problem with third parties in the US is that they often run people who are in no way qualified for the positions they seek because they do not expect to win and just want to pick up protest votes or talk about their pet issues.

“We are taking a very different approach and every race we enter we are entering with the intent to win.”

In the longer term, Wheeler said the goal was to build enough power in the state legislature so the party could demand a “mutually recognised and mutually binding referendum”.

This, he said would avoid the pitfalls associated with another campaign by Yes California – a separate organisation – because the courts would have no cause to reject it.

“The US would have a much harder time blocking us from seeking international recognition if they had agreed in advance that we had the right to do so, if we won the vote.”

Catalonia leader vows 2017 referendum on Spain independence – BBC News

The president of Catalonia [Catalunya] vows to hold a referendum on independence in 2017.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont promised a “legal and binding” vote in his televised New Year’s speech.

A consultative ballot in 2014, which recorded a large majority for independence, was ignored by Spain.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has again ruled out the possibility of a referendum.

Embracing Spain’s second city, Barcelona, Catalonia is one of the country’s richest regions.

Separatist sentiment has built into a mass movement over the past five years, promoting a distinct Catalan identity which goes back centuries.

In his video address (in Catalan), Mr Puigdemont said: “We Catalans will freely decide our own future through a legal and binding referendum.”

Source: Catalonia leader vows 2017 referendum on Spain independence – BBC News

Imagine the US Without California. Plenty of Californians Are: 'BradCast' 12/30/2016

Natalie Blake, co-chair of the LA CNP chapter, gives a great interview here for the Bradcast podcast.  Check it out and give them a visit if you like what you hear!  Natalie’s segment starts at 14 minutes in.

On today’s BradCast, I’m in for Brad again. We start by pick up where we left off yesterday, with another review of fake news – this time, contrasting it with lazy, bad, or mistaken news reports.

And – about that reported book contract a flamboyant neo-Nazi is crowing about: why it’s way too early to say, “We’re boycotting Simon & Schuster!”

Then Natalie Blake with the California National Party explains how a state can secede from the US (hint: more than one option here). This is NOT the same California independence group allied with Russia, although you’d never get that from most media.

And an excerpt from a live conversation with author and culture critic Jeff Chang. Kind of fun to hear the Executive Director of Stanford’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts explain how diversity is problematic.

Download MP3 or listen online below…

* * *

Source: The BRAD BLOG : Imagine the US Without California. Plenty of Californians Are: ‘BradCast’ 12/30/2016

Californian Independence: An idea whose time is now

I’ve been sitting on the blog post below for a few days now. I held off on publishing it because I was aware that my views were evolving more rapidly than I was comfortable with, and I don’t like to put things out there that I can’t ultimately stand behind. I’m hitting the “publish” button now, and I have a few things to add, but I thought I’d leave the original post as it is, as a marker of what I was thinking a few days ago, and how it compares to how I feel now. But first, a few additions.

It’s been an extraordinary few days. Not only have we heard that the Russians attempted to sway the election towards Trump, we’re now hearing, in the language that is used for such high-level leaks and off-the-record comments, that our nation’s intelligence chiefs believe that “Putin himself personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was being leaked and otherwise used.” Some say, correctly, that we should be cautious in evaluating this claim, given that U.S. intelligence officials have a long history of dissimulation and outright lying. But the accusation itself is serious enough that it deserves serious inquiry, and it would be damning if the GOP leadership was seen to be complicit. Update as I was about to publish: The White House now says Trump knew before Election Day that the Russians were involved.

Quite apart from that, however, we’ve seen more of Trump’s putative cabinet named, and it’s truly astonishing how many of them not only do not believe in the missions of the departments they’ve been nominated to lead, but are actively interested in eliminating them or rendering them impotent. Given the seriousness of the Russian election hacking claim, the nomination of Rex Tillerson–a man who was awarded a medal by Putin–as Secretary of State is particularly ominous.

And then, in a moment of indiscretion (which, God knows, he’s had more than a few of in his time), Newt Gingrich, who’s been consulted by the Trump team, let slip that the goal of Trumpism is to “eradicate FDR government.” What this means, of course, is the dismantling of the social safety net that began under FDR in the 1930s, a net that includes Social Security. With Paul Ryan already declaring his intention to end Obamacare and privatize Medicare, we’re looking at setting social programs in this country back by eighty years.

Ordinarily, this is the point at which I say, “Time to fight. Write to your Congressman. We can defeat these people.”

Here’s the thing, though: Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by 2.85 milliion votes (and they’re still counting). She won the California popular vote by 4.27 million votes. That’s how much our votes didn’t count. That’s how different we are from the rest of the country.

In fact, when you back California out of the equation, Trump won the popular vote, which could explain why President Obama appears hell-bent on ensuring a smooth transition of power to someone who is going to utterly obliterate the Obama legacy, and why Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff have been curiously silent on things like the Wisconsin recount until their hand was forced. The Electoral College appears ready to obediently vote Trump into office despite all the recent revelations. The people and institutions which are supposed to act as a safety check are all failing.

But back to those 4.27 million votes. It’s almost as if we were a separate nation. Hmmm.

All by ourselves, we have the world’s sixth-largest economy. Our population is larger than that of Canada. We send billions to the federal government in taxes every year, and for every dollar we send, we get less than a dollar back in federal funding and programs. South Carolina, on the other hand, gets more than $7 for each $1 in taxes. Simply put, we’re financing the people who want to turn the clock back eighty years, and I’m a bit tired of it. And at the same time, we’re more than rich enough to succeed as an independent nation.

Increasingly, our values are seemingly not those of Americans at large. Unlike the rest of the country, we’re a “majority minority” state–whites no longer form the majority here. Our major cities have Spanish names–San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento. That’s because this used to be Spanish, and later Mexican, territory. Californians are used to hearing Spanish spoken, as well as Chinese and Farsi and Vietnamese and Arabic. We’re used to living with people who don’t look like us, and who don’t worship in the same way. We’re fine with that. We love and respect our LGBTQ neighbors and friends. We affirm the validity of their marriages and relationships. We’re fine letting transgender individuals use whatever damn restroom they’re most comfortable with. We’re not afraid of the Other. We’re dedicated to equality, to diversity, to doing what we can to protect the least of us. Here, where John Muir documented the beauty of the Yosemite Valley, we’re dedicated to protecting the environment. The rest of the country just voted to dismantle all of that.

California is not going to just stand by and let that happen.

And if it comes down to it, we’re ready to stand on our own. Just today, Governor Brown said that if Trump turned off the Earth-monitoring satellites, “we’ll build our own damn satellites.” That’s not just rhetoric–we really could. We have the knowledge, we have the scientists, we have the money, we have the launch facilities, we have the aerospace manufacturing know-how, we have the technology.

All of the foregoing is why I’m ready to endorse independence for California.

It’s not my first choice. I’d prefer to see the grifters in the incoming administration get the boot, but that’s not happening, and if we can’t save the entire United States, we should do what we can to save our part of it. It won’t be easy. It won’t be quick. There will be terrible resistance to the idea, and nobody knows to what lengths the opposition would go to prevent it. But it’s better than seeing outsiders destroy what we have here.

California was once where ideas were born that spread across the nation. But the nation has changed, having seemingly lost its will to live up to the lofty ideals on which it was founded, and if they prefer to follow a different path, it’s time to strike out on our own. Time for us to grow up and take our place in the community of nations.

And if you believe as we do, come along with us. We’d love the company.

http://blog.larryanderson.org/2016/12/14/calexit-an-idea-whose-time-is-now

Whether Or Not Calexit Happens, Californians Can And Should Lead A Revolution | GOOD

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election night win, progressives across the country have struggled to understand how they fit into a large swath of the country that expressly rejects liberal values. Californians seem particularly at odds with red state priorities, as evidenced by the fact that Hillary Clinton’s 2.6 million popular vote lead largely came from the Golden State. As a result, more Californians are seriously considering the option of seceding form the nation, rallying behind the “Calexit” label both on social media and in the street.

Watching #Calexit create a firestorm online reminded me of a book published in 1975 that predicted this very idea.

Source: Whether Or Not Calexit Happens, Californians Can And Should Lead A Revolution | GOOD