The ‘Yes California’ movement is a major advocate for California’s secession from the United States. It is actively pushing for a potential “national divorce” as a means to prevent a possible civil conflict.
With politics growing more divided, Coastal states like California, Texas, and New Hampshire are pushing to break away from the rest of the United States.
CalExit 3.1: Dividing California For Pacifica Independence
The movement is campaigning on a ballot measure named CalExit 3.1. It seeks to split California into two parts. Thus, forming a new country separate from the US. This new country will encompass the San Francisco Bay area and central California coast, according to the group’s website.
The proposed independent territory would be christened Pacifica. At the moment, 92,000 individuals have registered to support the campaign through the movement’s website. Yet, it remains unknown how many of these individuals are residents of California.
Inside ‘Yes California’: Origins And Leadership
Founded by Louis J. Marinelli, a right-wing political activist, Yes California has garnered support from the Russian government. In August 2015, the movement replaced the Sovereign California campaign. It borrowed its name and emblem from Yes Scotland, a group involved in Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum.
Referred to as Caleavefornia, Califrexit, and Calexit (inspired by Brexit), it has attracted attention with its bid for Californian independence. Louis Marinell is the president of the movement, according to the “Yes California” website.
CalExit Leadership Dispute
While Marinelli is referred to as the group’s founder and president on its website, some sources credit Marcus Ruiz Evans as a co-founder and president. The two men are said to have cut ties.
Not only have they cut ties, but they also have differing views on the purpose of CalExit. He reportedly told Newsweek via telephone that he is the “real leader” of the movement and Marinelli “doesn’t represent CalExit.” Marinelli also told Newsweek that Evans left the movement in 2021, but Evans said Marinelli’s claim was a lie.
Marinelli’s Call: A National Divorce Proposal
“So right now we’re more working on the concept of national divorce as an alternative to potential civil violence and civil war in the country,” Marinelli told Newsweek via telephone on Saturday.
“Our belief is that there’s a lot of growing political violence and political problems in the country that may lead to fighting in the streets. Civil war too, some people are calling for. We are trying to propose the idea of potentially doing a national divorce of some sort…to avoid that type of situation.”
Political Leaders Discuss ‘National Divorce’
Newsweek reached out to California Governor Gavin Newsom via an online form for input. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, has used the phrase “national divorce” on many occasions. She advocated for “separation by red states and blue states” in a post on X, formerly Twitter, in February 2023.
“The last thing that I ever want to see in America is a civil war,” the congresswoman told host Sean Hannity. “No one wants that…but it’s going that direction and we have to do something about it.” More recently, Greene remarked in an X post from last December: “Soon national divorce may be our only option.”
Red Vs. Blue: Rethinking Divisions
Marinelli said that “Yes California” isn’t moving for a national divorce between red and blue states. But, “potentially there’s ways to draw the line at other places.”
He explained that dividing the country by red and blue states won’t make much difference. It doesn’t solve the problem of division between the red and blue in a state.
Secession Attempts In Other States
According to Marinelli, “Yes California” is also monitoring other secession movements in other states. Two bills concerning New Hampshire’s endeavors to secede from the U.S. have been proposed in the state House: CACR 20 and House Bill 1130.
CACR proposes a constitutional amendment. It states that if the national debt, which currently exceeds $34 trillion, reaches $40 trillion, New Hampshire will declare independence. Meanwhile, House Bill 1130 aims to establish a commission to investigate the economic, legal, and sociological implications of the state exercising its sovereign rights.
Texas Tension: Secession Momentum
It’s not just California and New Hampshire looking to separate from the US. Illegal migrant crossings at the southern border have also sparked tension between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Biden administration. As a result, there’s a growing push for Texas to secede from the U.S. The De facto leader of the texit movement, Daniel Miller had this to say.
“I think the trajectory the federal government is on, the trajectory that Texas is on. I think we are headed in that direction so whether by conscious decision or collapse of the federal system in its inability to meet its basic requirements, I think Texas becomes an independent nation definitely inside of 30 years.”
State Secession: Timing’s Roadblock
While Marinelli is very much in support of states like New Hampshire and Texas breaking away from the U.S., he’s also of the opinion that the time isn’t right.
“We support the effort of self-determination in general. So, if a state in the United States wants to pursue its right to self-determination and have a vote on independence that’s going to be fair and free and conform to international norms on independence referendum, we would support that,” Marinelli said.
Putting Secession On Hold: Uniting Against Global Turmoil
But, he did add, “Maybe right now, is not the best time for us to be hashing out this domestic problem and divorcing the country. When we should be mounting on a united front to face the global problems that we currently face.”
Marinelli stated that ongoing global turmoil, particularly the situation in Ukraine, has delayed their plans to put initiatives on the 2024 ballot. He added, “It’s one of the factors that held us back.”
Democracy At Risk
It’s been almost two years since Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In the Middle East, there’s been more fighting after Hamas, a group from Palestine, surprised Israel with an attack on October 7, 2023. Israel then launched its most devastating airstrikes on Gaza.
“Because of what’s happening around the world and the possibility that the United States can be drawn into war, we think it would be counterproductive to Western civilization and the cause of democracy if we were also fighting within our own country,” Marinelli said.