Cindy Sheehan: California Independence Day – OpEd

Since my son Casey was killed in Iraq on 04/04/04, I have consistently taken steps to remove myself from the government of the USA: I stopped paying income taxes (how can I fund more murder after I essentially funded the murder of my own son?); I sold my car; dumped my house; and vocally oppose just about everything America does. Unfortunately, I still have a passport and I feel like, not only do I want to live in California, my surviving children (5th generation Californians) and my five grandchildren (6th generation Californians) live here, so I need to live here.

Also, why should I be forced to “love it or leave it?” Mostly, almost all the people who can afford to be so mobile and move around the world are the people who create untenable conditions for the rest of us, anyway.

Having written the above, you can imagine that I was extremely excited when I saw that there was a renewed interest in California Independence! I quickly contacted leadership of the movement and became involved myself and am now on the board of the California Freedom Coalition.

On May 19, 2017 we joyfully, yet with a sense of gravitas, filed paperwork in Sacramento at the office of the Attorney General to put California Independence in front of Californians in the form of a ballot initiative. Right now, we are awaiting final approval (around 50 days) to begin collecting signatures for this historic and righteous effort.

As with the first American Revolution in 1776 (an effort which few colonists supported, at first, so the “Patriots” also had to wage a battle to win the “fence-sitters” over), it has become “self-evident” to some of us here in California that the US government (USG), way across the country in Washington, DC does not represent us, or our values, in anywhere near a competent, or even, humane way. We feel like we are treated as vassals to unrestrained capitalism and war. Even California’s federal contingent that are sent to DC are a club of millionaires who have lost touch with California and the average Californian. How else are reps like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) and Nancy Pelosi (D) able to constantly vote for wars, war funding, and work to protect out of control US regimes and corporate interests?

While California is one of the leading economies in the world, there is still an appalling unemployment and homeless problem. Following the trajectory of the US, California’s good, manufacturing jobs have fled for greener pastures and what’s left for us: service jobs or the military. Californians send billions to the USG to support US military adventurism, and while we mostly don’t support the wars, our young people and families pay the highest and irredeemable prices in war deaths, injuries, and the deepest cut: suicide.

If left in the Republic of California, what we here in the state could do with our human, natural, and financial resources, is almost limitless. Similarly, the potential of a free California to lead the world in peace, education (the wealthy state of California consistently rates in the bottom 10% in education in the US), meaningful and full-employment with good wages and benefits, sustainable energy production, clean agriculture, clean water, clean air, etc; unleashes what my colleague in the movement Tim Vollmer has called, the “sociological imagination.”

There have been independence movements in California since before it was quickly absorbed by the USA (because of the discovery of massive amounts of gold) in 1850 and it is only a matter of time before we are again successful.

We, the patriots and matriots of Californian Independence not only want a healthier country to live in, we also feel that if California does become independent from the bloody US Empire, it will ultimately deal a death blow to that Empire. Without California, the US will have to scale back its sick habit of regime change/carnage around the world, or perish. I would rather have the US voluntarily follow California on a much more peaceful and sensible path for humanity, but if it perishes, that is fine, too. Anything to stop the Empire’s reign of terror around the world.

This is in no way a rightwing “Free State of Jefferson” movement (CalSplit) that wants to add another state to a nation that has, beyond a shadow of any doubt, demonstrated its psychopathic tendencies. We don’t advocate for an independent California to further separate the rich and the poor, but to retain the beautiful diverse nature of our state; and to elevate everyone in equality and prosperity (some people will have to de-elevate, but, that’s only a matter of time, too).

However, this is also not a “liberal” initiative that only wants to skedaddle because Trump is the current CEO of Murder, Inc; only to return to again beg for scraps from our “master’s” table when a Democrat assumes that position. This is an a-partisan effort that strives to leave the divisions of the US behind and join as Californians of all demographics to put the power and future of California back where it rightfully belongs: in our hands and in our communities

I was honored to be asked to sign the “California Declaration of Independence,” and the significance of this was not lost on any of us.

We are working hard for success and we all know that it will happen and it will be good for everyone (except the 1%, at first), but we wondered how did the signers of the Declaration of Independence feel on the sweltering day (it was also hot in Sacramento on 19 May) of 4 July, 1776? I am sure, like we, they were optimistic, excited, and a little fearful of what terror would be unleashed by the major Empire of that day.

Nothing can be achieved without people willing to take the risks of ridicule, demonization, marginalization, or worse. We won’t become free until we demand freedom. As the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass stated in 1857, “power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Some things are worth fighting for and the very future of sustainable life on this planet is the thing we are fighting for. If the USG cannot be stopped, then the rest of us will be.

Join us in this very worthy struggle!


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Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during his service in the Iraq War by the Mehdi Army on April 4, 2004. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch — a stand which drew both passionate support and angry criticism. More of her writings can be found at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: Writing from the Emprire.

2 thoughts on “Cindy Sheehan: California Independence Day – OpEd

  • May 25, 2017 at 7:03 pm
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    If it weren’t for Sheehan we’d not know about the extensive human resources latent in Commyfornia. Lived here 82 years myself and find myself inundated in the same crap Ms. Sheehan exudes almost daily. Unions such as SEIU and United Farm Workers coupled with assorted special interests backing the Democratic Party have converted what was damned near paradise on earth into a refuge for human refuse. I suspect these are the underutilized human resources she extolls, well lottsa luck, Sheehan.
    Give away programs covering everything from payments for fatherless children (as celebrated in song: “All you gotta do is fucks and nine months later they pay the big bucks.”) to free cell phones, gas, food, rent … Does anyone seriously believe California could exist as a standalone country other than on a par with Greece?
    I‘m not sure what Sheehan is smoking, but you can be certain it was purchased here and grown as a doctorial project at a State funded University.

    Reply
  • June 7, 2017 at 3:14 am
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    Not all of us support Sheehan. She’s a divisive character in California. Bringing her on board compromises the movement and permanently sets us on the 4% vote total path the Greens are so famous for. Her assumptions that moderates and conservatives will fall in line is petty and will not work. When will CalExit get qualified people on board? The way things are going this movement will disappear faster than Occupy Wallstreet.

    Reply

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