In Liberal Vermont, a Secession Movement Rises

Unlikely coalition has a voice in state politics

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 24, 2013 10:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not only Texans: A small but dedicated band of Vermont activists also want to secede from the Union, Prospect.org reports. Railing at the effects of big business and bureaucracy on daily life, they speak at the state legislature, get bills introduced, and run candidates—though none so far have won. What marks this unlikely group of socialists, professors, lumberjacks, and gun fanatics (among others) is their fierce spirit of independence: "Left or right," says a leader of the movement, "who wants to be associated with such a shabby creature as the United States?" Among their grievances:

  • Canadian companies own state hydroelectric plants to produce energy for export
  • Timber sent to China so locals can buy it back on credit as "shoddy" furniture
  • Vermont drinking water sold for pennies on the dollar and sold back in bottles at double the price of gasoline

Even leading "seceshers" realize the feds will oppose secession, so they're promoting a gradual withdrawal of nullifying federal laws and embracing local economics. Their latest litmus test: Residents' hard work recovering from Hurricane Irene before FEMA showed up. "There was palpable pride in the town and its people and a distinct we-ain’t-waitin'-for-no-gubmint attitude," said one resident. "We could have easily continued for several more weeks and longer." (But Vermont and Texas aren't the only ones who want out.)

Jim Hogue, Vermont secessionist.
Jim Hogue, Vermont secessionist.   (YouTube)
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