California Independence Initiative (Part 3/3 – But Will Independence Work?)

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Yesterday I published the second of three articles about the California Independence Movement.

PART II AND III

In this, the last article of my series, we focus on the viability of an independent California.

“What do you say to detractors who claim this will never happen, and never work?” I asked. Hal talked about what he sees as the instability of our government. After the election, “no matter who wins, one-half the country is not going to accept it,” he said.

Shankar said this could start a movement that would spread across the United States to take back the government, comparing it to what the founders did. He said the founders had “no idea what they were doing, just like us. There’s no guide book, there’s no instruction manual on doing this.”

CHANGE IS NEVER EASY

Hal stated that more Californians support independence than Colonists supported American independence. However, the challenge is to get voters to the polls to vote on this measure in an off-year election (2022).

Hal reminded me how long it took California to legalize marijuana. He said he’s been involved with the movement since 1996, and that California led that charge. The marijuana question was on the ballot “election after election, year after year, it failed, it failed, it failed. It’s now a $32 billion industry.” Hal also compared it to the length of time it took for gay marriage to be legalized. Regarding the independence movement, “no one has ever said there was an expiration date.”

They both see the possibility of this not passing in 2024, because it didn’t happen in 2020, as was the original goal. They admitted the fight may go on long past 2024. Shankar said, “Even if it’s not on paper, people will just consider it (California) a different land, a different country, a different nation.”

THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE TIED TO FIGHT AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY

During Calexit Con 2.0 on Sept. 8, 2019, Shankar talked about the goal of an independent California. “This fight against the federal government isn’t against America, it isn’t against some sort of idealism, this stance for independence, and we’ve been noticing on the streets, is solely based on white supremacy. That’s all we can see out there. That’s what we’re fighting.”

He said it’s the first thing people talk about at any rally or event. “If you look at the power structure of society in general in the United States, and in California as well, it’s based on white supremacy.” He added, “It permeates every aspect of our life.”

Shankar told me he sees it most when he is “activising, when you’re defending immigrants or you’re defending nurses.” He asked who you see as the opposition, who’s standing on the other side. He said they’re “generally all the same skin tone, usually, and the same religion. Even if you start talking to them, it basically comes down to white supremacy.” He went on to say that Donald Trump is a big cheerleader of their cause. “The dog whistles that he puts out is infuriating.”

Shankar expressed his anger over DACA and seeing ICE “haul people away from their homes,” especially children who were born in California. He also said the U.S. has always been a land of people of color.

I asked Shankar about the demonstrators at the homes of ICE agents, telling them to move, or quit their jobs, or get out of California. “Guilty as charged,” he said, “We’re the ones who came up with that strategy.”

They went to the Long Beach home of Thomas Giles, acting field director of ICE, to demand his resignation. He indicated Giles is a terrible person who does things that “goes very much against California values and I don’t feel bad about this.”

BLM AND LGBTQ COMMUITY JOIN FORCES WITH CALEXIT

I asked if there are two different agendas – a movement for an independent California and a fight against white supremacy and ICE?

Hal talked about California values and how California is 75-80 percent progressive. “There are a lot of groups protesting right now, including women’s rights groups, the LGBTQ community, Black Lives Matter, and others. Many of these groups,” he said, “have come to the conclusion at some point in time that America could not be fixed.” So they teamed up with the California independence movement.

Marcus Ruiz Evans told me in April he thought Trump would win re-election in November. I asked Shankar for his prediction. He said it doesn’t matter because they (Biden and Trump) are “more similar than they are different.”

Having said that, Shankar feels those who are fighting for the rights of a group, or defending their rights, would have a better chance under Biden than they would under Trump. He also believes that if Trump loses, he will tie it up in the courts and will have to be forced to leave the White House.

I followed up by asking if Shankar felt a Trump win would boost interest in the Calexit movement. He indicated it didn’t matter.

He went on to say that “Californians hate the Democratic Party, they hate the Democrats, they hate everything about them, they can’t trust them, they hate Hillary, they don’t like Pelosi.” He sees the two political parties as the biggest challenge to Californians. His goal is trying to change the mindset by saying “I’m not American, I’m Californian.”

AND IN CONCLUSION . . .

Shankar Singham provided a closing statement for our interview in an email. “Ten days and 19 years ago (reference to 9-11) the United States was more united than any point of the 43 years I’ve lived in this country. Today the United States is so polarized by a two party system, though the two parties are more alike and similar in policy than different. The leaders of these two parties are so brazen that they feel it inconsequential if the words they speak have a modicum of truth or not. For the consequences of virtually none.

“And when they are caught lying, the capacity of the press in media to not hold them accountable has lead the nation into a crisis of democracy because it’s not just about implicating the Target of the lie, but it implicates all of us, the ones that make policy causing us to choke in the smoke-filled air of California right now, or those of us with children worried will this planet be inhabitable in 20 years for them to live in or someone that’s in the military who at the drop of a hat have to wage some Neo Imperialist War in some foreign land, supported by the same corporate entities that bankroll these Democrats and these Republicans who lied to us in the first place.

“The only solution I see from this exacerbating madness is exiting this 50 state marriage AND show the other 49 WHAT FREEDOM TRULY IS, the way the forefathers and the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Thirteen Colonies WANTED IT TO BE. So today we have an initiative that we have put forth in our great land of California to form a commission to find out how viable California autonomy truly is.”

Shankar concluded our interview by saying that California’s independence is inevitable and he’s looking forward to that day.

Image from: gopusa.com


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