California Joins Secession Movement

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

As of Wednesday 10,064 people have signed a petition for California to secede from the United States and create its own government, joining residents in more than 30 other states who find the elections last week unpalatable.

If a petition gathers 25,000 signatures within 30 days, it will be reviewed by the Obama administration. But 150 signatures get you a searchable posting on the website. Texas gathered its 25,000 signatures in just three days and submitted its petition to the White House last week.

Texas Governor Rick Perry had gotten out front on the secession issue in 2009 when he told reporters, “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

California is no stranger to internal secession movements. According to the New York Times, more than 200 proposals have been floated to break up the state since its founding in 1850. A 1941 effort to spin off several northern California states and merge them with southern Oregon to form the great state of Jefferson was waylaid by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and U.S. entry into World War II.

Nowadays, petitioners for secession, and for just about any other cause that strikes the fancy of a citizen, are encouraged by the White House to get started at its “We the People” website. Participants can create a account, write a petition and set about rounding up signatures to change America if they are at least 13 years old, eschew threats of unlawful violence and avoid “obscene, vulgar, or lewd material; defamatory or fraudulent statements” in their posting.

Petitions are “limited to a discrete set of topics, which may be adjusted over time.”  

One petition that failed to make the cut for review by the administration was for the release of the White House’s secret beer recipe. It only gathered 13,000 signatures in August, but the administration recognized the buzz created by the Ale to the Chief movement and released the recipe in September.

A so-far less successful petition to strip the citizenship of everyone who signs a secession petition and exile them from the country had only gathered 3,104 signatures as of yesterday.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Residents in More Than 30 States File Secession Petitions (by Elyse Siegel, Huffington Post)

Texas Petition to Secede Reaches Threshold for Obama Comment (by Sarah Parnass, ABC News)

California Secession Effort Still Alive (by Jeff Horseman, Riverside Press-Enterprise)

Organizers: California Rebellion Rally Postponed (by Amy Bentley, Southwest Riverside News Network)

California Counties Talk of Cutting Ties to State (by Jennifer Medina, New York Times)

10 Modern Secession Movements in the United States (by Arthur Weinstein, Listosaur)

Petition (We the People)

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