Succeeding at Seceding?

Typically relegated to the political fringe, some secessionist
groups in the US have put themselves on the map in recent
years.

On a mountainous 45-acre plot in a remote corner of Oahu, 80
native Hawaiians have carved out a community known as the
Independent and Sovereign Nation State of Hawai’i. Led by activist
Dennis ‘Bumpy’ Kanahele, the settlement serves as the nerve center
for the indigenous movement
for Hawaiian independence
. The group wants sovereignty on their
terms, and they don’t see the Akaka Bill — federal legislation
that would grant rights similar to those of Native Americans and
Alaskans to native Hawaiians — as meeting their needs. (A

cloture vote
on the bill scheduled for September 6 was delayed
indefinitely due to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and the death
of Chief Justice William Rehnquist,

according to the Hawaiian Reporter
.)

Then there’s the Alaskan
Independence Party
(AIP), whose website claims that its
membership makes it the largest third party in the country. Founder
Joe Vogler didn’t shilly-shally about where his allegiance lay:
‘I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or
her damned institutions.’ The group wants Alaskan citizens to get
the vote they say they were entitled to in 1958: the choice whether
to remain a territory, become a separate and independent nation,
accept commonwealth status, or become a state. AIP reached a high
point in 1990, when its candidates for governor and lieutenant
governor won nearly 40 percent of the votes; ballot box success has
since waned.

Remember Ernest Callenbach’s poli-sci-fi novel,
Ecotopia? The utopian, environmentally friendly nation in
America’s northwestern states has a nonfictional reincarnation
known as Cascadia. A
map at
the Cascadia Institute
shows the bioregion stretching as far
north as the Alaskan panhandle and as far south as northern
California, cutting a swath from the Pacific to part of Wyoming.
One tongue-in-cheek website offers a
light look at the
possibility of a Cascadian nation
and gives links to some that
take it a little more seriously. The push for political border
reconfiguring in the area dates back to 1941, when the idea was
hatched for a Jefferson
state comprised of counties in northern California and southern
Oregon
. There have been other efforts in California, some
suggesting splitting the state into several entities and others
like this one
that yearn for the state to be free.

Since 2003, a retired economics professor, Thomas Naylor, has
been barnstorming, rallying support for a
Second Vermont
Republic
. The movement gained a groundswell of support after
the election of George W. Bush in 2004, as

Glenn Reed reports in the Washington Free Press
.

And of course, Texas. The
Republic of Texas
Interim Government
has its headquarters in Overton, RT
(Republic of Texas). The
Texas National Press reports that a recent fire
damaged the republic’s capitol building and thwarted plans to house
Hurricane Katrina refugees.

Go there >>

The Republic of Vermont: So Whatever Happened to
‘Cascadia?’

Go there too >>
Hawaii — Independent and
Sovereign

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