Washington : No one seriously believes it could happen, but secessionist sentiments are surfacing in the US after Donald Trump’s election. A group called the Yes California Independence Campaign demonstrated before the state Capitol on Wednesday seeking a referendum to secede. They want a ballot initiative in the mid-term 2018 Congressional election and to force a special election in 2019 to decide the matter.
“The US represents many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidising the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children,” the group said.
“In 2016, the UK voted to leave the international community with their Brexit vote. Our Calexit referendum is about California joining the international community,” it said.
The group, which has been pushing for secession even before Trump’s election, expounded on the Golden State’s economic heft independent of the country, saying, as the world’s sixth largest econ omy, California is economically more powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland’s.
— Yes California (@YesCalifornia) November 9, 2016
“California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states,” it said. At $2.46 trillion in 2015, California’s economy was larger than India’s at $2.07trillion.Several big Silicon Valley names have spoken of seceding. Others have talked of splitting the state into smaller units.
On Tuesday, even as Trump was striding to victory, Shervin Pishevar, an early Uber investor and co-founder of Hyperloop, posted a series of tweets announcing his plans to fund “a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation”.
“Yes it’s serious. It’s the most patriotic thing I can do. The country is [at] a serious crossroads,” he told cable TV networks.
Other tech gurus joined him, among them Marc Hemeon, a former Google employee and founder of Design Inc., Dave Morin, investor and founder of private social networking tool Path, and Cheezburger founder Ben Huh.
California is America’s largest state in terms of population and electoral weightage (55 electoral votes), and voted Hillary Clinton. Its liberal outposts, including college campuses such as UC Berkeley, are boiling with anti-Trump sentiments.