Skip to comments.North and South secessionists sit down to talk
Posted on 10/03/2007 8:22:09 AM PDT by varina davis
By BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer Wed Oct 3, 3:15 AM ET
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions New England and the South are sitting down to talk.
Tired of foreign wars and what they consider right-wing courts, the Middlebury Institute wants liberal states like Vermont to be able to secede peacefully.
That sounds just fine to the League of the South, a conservative group that refuses to give up on Southern independence.
"We believe that an independent South, or Hawaii, Alaska, or Vermont would be better able to serve the interest of everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity," said Michael Hill of Killen, Ala., president of the League of the South.
Separated by hundreds of miles and divergent political philosophies, the Middlebury Institute and the League of the South are hosting a two-day Secessionist Convention starting Wednesday in Chattanooga.
They expect to attract supporters from California, Alaska and Hawaii, inviting anyone who wants to dissolve the Union so states can save themselves from an overbearing federal government.
If allowed to go their own way, New Englanders "probably would allow abortion and have gun control," Hill said, while Southerners "would probably crack down on illegal immigration harder than it is being now."
The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly prohibit secession, but few people think it is politically viable.
Vermont, one of the nation's most liberal states, has become a hotbed for liberal secessionists, a fringe movement that gained new traction because of the Iraq war, rising oil prices and the formation of several pro-secession groups.
Thomas Naylor, the founder of one of those groups, the Second Vermont Republic, said the friendly relationship with the League of the South doesn't mean everyone shares all the same beliefs.
But Naylor, a retired Duke University professor, said the League of the South shares his group's opposition to the federal government and the need to pursue secession.
"It doesn't matter if our next president is Condoleeza (Rice) or Hillary (Clinton), it is going to be grim," said Naylor, adding that there are secessionist movements in more than 25 states, including Hawaii, Alaska, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Texas.
The Middlebury Institute, based in Cold Spring, N.Y., was started in 2005. Its followers, disillusioned by the Iraq war and federal imperialism, share the idea of states becoming independent republics. They contend their movement is growing.
The first North American Separatist Convention was held last fall in Vermont, which, unlike most Southern states, supports civil unions. Voters there elected a socialist to the U.S. Senate.
Middlebury director Kirpatrick Sale said Hill offered to sponsor the second secessionist convention, but the co-sponsor arrangement was intended to show that "the folks up north regard you as legitimate colleagues."
"It bothers me that people have wrongly declared them to be racists," Sale said.
The League of the South says it is not racist, but proudly displays a Confederate Battle Flag on its banner.
Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which monitors hate groups, said the League of the South "has been on our list close to a decade."
"What is remarkable and really astounding about this situation is we see people and institutions who are supposedly on the progressive left rubbing shoulders with bona fide white supremacists," Potok said.
Sale said the League of the South "has not done or said anything racist in its 14 years of existence," and that the Southern Poverty Law Center is not credible.
"They call everybody racists," Sale said. "There are, no doubt, racists in the League of the South, and there are, no doubt, racists everywhere."
Harry Watson, director of the Center For the Study of the American South and a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said it was a surprise to see The Middlebury Institute conferring with the League of the South, "an organization that's associated with a cause that many of us associate with the preservation of slavery."
He said the unlikely partnering "represents the far left and far right of American politics coming together."
On the Net:
Middlebury Institute: http://middleburyinstitute.org/
League of the South: http://www.leagueofthesouth.net
Second Vermont Republic: http://www.vermontrepublic.org/
Well, next step is for these secessionists to as the UN to recognize their independence. Its the same stupidity the US forced in the Balkans. What goes around comes around.
Just think...a US Senate without Sanders and Leahy!!! I believe we still have a flag pattern with 49 states.
The attorney general needs to shut the SPLC down. They are just a gang of extortionists.
I find some humor in the statement. These poor folks don't realize that post secession they too would become subject to harsher immigration laws.
Then we place them under a military governor. I think that General Karpinski would be a good choice.
Then in a few years we can consider letting them have self-determination back.
After all, fair's fair.
This movement has not teeth but interesting none the less.
The Serbs were bombed to hell for attempting to stop a secession, don’t let the UN hear you speak like that.
Is this the Naylor who was on Laura Ingraham with Heather MacDonald this morning?
Don’t have to. With all the federal aid cut off they will starve. Do not trade with them.
Some of the guys are still around and laying low in the East Texas woods.
Well, I would like to see the Federal response to such a declaration.
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it...
Hey guys—ever heard of this thing called the Civil War? Thirteen states tried to leave the union and it didn’t work.
Though I can’t say I’d be sad to see Vermont go...
You know, I’d support secession if we could gather them all up in one state (how about Maine?) and summarily eject them from the union. Sort of like a congregation seceding from the Episcopal church. Go ahead, but the property belongs to the denomination, not the congregation. So folks, if you don’t want to be Americans, we’ll be happy to buy you tickets to anywhere else.
“Hey guysever heard of this thing called the Civil War? Thirteen states tried to leave the union and it didnt work”
hmmm - but these guys don’t approve of war, so I wonder what their game plan is.
“Republic Of Texas”
Are they the same group that have the ROT bike rally in Austin every year?
Anything now (ROT) would be respectful for our state.
Now, would be a good time for one of those lengthy posts of yours about Texas v. White. :>)
That would all depend on how they planned to go about it, wouldn't it?
“can save themselves from an overbearing federal government. “
I want to do this also, but as part of a 50 state United States of America.
People need to get involved and get a return to limited govt
To you, it does. To others, not so much. You should not let such details stop you. This is a tailor-made opportunity for you to share your wisdom about the legality of sucession with a wider audience. The Civil War threads are usually just the same small bunch of Freepers having the same argument over and over again. (The last seven years according to my calculations) LOL!
Yeah that thought crossed my mind too
absorb Vermont into NY State...whats a few more liberals on the side of Spitzer matter anyways?
The major question is, whether the People’s Republic of Massachusetts and Hillary’s New York will allow overflights for attacking the Vermin of Vermont...